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Saturday, May 06, 2006

ONI Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report (though 3 May 06)

For the latest Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threats to Shipping Report, go here and click on the date. Highlights:
1. SOMALIA: According to local Somali media reporting dated
03 May, an armed militia from Elhur village in central Somalia
seized a key road linking the town of Harardhere to the Gann coast
in an effort to prevent acts of piracy in the region. The militia
reported winning control of the area with no casualties but fear
future clashes. On 05 May, local Somali media reported that the
leader of the anti-piracy militia, Ahmed Ali Sheik Gamase, stated
his militia has surrounded the area where a hijacked oil taker is
currently being anchored and has trapped an estimated seven pirates
along with the 18 crewmembers onboard the vessel, preventing the
hijackers from coming to shore. Mr. Gamase stated that the Korean
fishing boat being held nearby was illegally fishing in Somali
waters and that vessel would be brought to justice but explained
he is opposing the hijackings of commercial and aid ships (LM).
***
4. RECAAP MOVING FORWARD: An Asian regional agreement on
combating piracy is expected to come into force soon despite the
absence of Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore has signed an
agreement to develop the IT infrastructure to underlie the Regional
Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against
Ships in Asia, or ReCaap, a Japanese initiative. The agreement,
which provides an information sharing system for cooperation on
piracy and armed robbery among 16 nations, requires at least 10 to
ratify it. At present, 11 countries (Brunei, Cambodia, India,
Japan, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri
Lanka, and Thailand) have signed the agreement and eight have
ratified it (LL).
***
1. SOMALIA: Vessel (AL TAJI) hijacked 25 Apr, Southern
Somali coast. Isse Sheik Elmi, who is the agent for the (AL TAJI)
said the vessel sailed from Dubai on 6 Apr and arrived at El Maan,
Somalia on 23 Apr where it unloaded goods for Mogadishu
businessmen. The vessel then sailed from El Maan on 25 Apr bound
for Kismayo, Somalia and it is believed the vessel was hijacked
near the coastal town of Barawe in Southern Somalia. The vessel's
agent stated the captain of the vessel is from Libya and the nine
crewmembers are Indian and was hired by Somali's Kheyr Shipping
Company. The vessel is believed to be taken to Gann, 18 nm north
of Xarardheere, about 400 km north of Mogadishu, where pirates
still hold a tanker operated from UAE and a fishing boat from South
Korea. Sheik Elmi went to Mogadishu to negotiate for the vessel's
release (REUTERS, LM).
***
5. SPRATLY ISLANDS: Fishing vessel assaulted and robbed
27 Apr, Spratly Islands Archipelago, South China Sea. Four Chinese
fishermen were killed and three injured when attacked and robbed
by pirates. According to accounts of survivors, pirates dispatched
a small vessel with four men in it from an unknown country. They
boarded the boat, produced weapons and ordered the fishermen to
gather on the deck. When the boat tried to leave the area, gun
shots were fired and a larger vessel pulled alongside the
Chinese fishing boat and open fired with a machine gun. Four
crew members were killed and three others wounded. Once in control
of the boat 13 pirates boarded and robbed it of all its equipment,
including radios and navigational equipment. Reportedly, China's
Agriculture Ministry, which overseas the nation's fishing industry,
is investigating the attack as well as the Philippine authorities(LM).
***
1. GREENPEACE-TARGETS AMAZON SOYA: Greenpeace
activists blocked a ship believed to be carrying soya from the Amazon
in route to Amsterdam 7 Apr. Eleven activists with inflatable boats
blocked the bulk carrier (W-ONE) for more than an hour in the North
Sea Canal using inflatable boats to stop it from offloading soya for
Cargill in Amsterdam. Greenpeace claims that the trade is leading
to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest (GP, LL).

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