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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Anti-piracy hub in Kenya?

Reported here:
A regional maritime coordination centre in Mombasa will be revived to help fight piracy in the Horn of Africa.

The centre would initiate and maintain a worldwide navigation warning system for ships off the coast of Somalia, Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere told a meeting of agencies and states affected by piracy.

"The system is vital in guiding ships sailing in the high risk areas, to eliminate the likelihood of their falling into the hands of pirates," he said.

And the Search and Rescue Centre, which is under construction, would be in operation by May, to help boost the fight against piracy, said the minister.

The meeting being held at the Nyali Beach Hotel is expected to form a task force to look into ways of fighting piracy in the region.

At the meeting are delegates from the USA, Britain, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Bangladesh, India, the International Maritime Organisation, and the World Food Programme.

"These attacks are a threat to the economies of eastern and southern Africa and the landlocked countries in the region," said Mr Mwakwere.

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