A ship carrying tons of U.N. humanitarian aid for this impoverished nation refused to leave Kenya on Monday because of rampant piracy off Somalia’s coast, as the U.S. Navy warned vessels to stay clear of the lawless waters where everyone from aid workers to fishermen have become targets.UPDATE: China, too, is warning its shipping to be careful around Somalia as set out here:
The U.N. World Food Program has appealed for high-level international action to secure the waters off the coast, saying piracy is threatening aid deliveries to a country trying to recover from the worst fighting in more than a decade.
The ship had been scheduled to sail to Somalia on Sunday with 850 tons of food. But the shipping agency contracted by WFP has demanded the Kenyan government provide security for travel into Somali waters. On Saturday, pirates launched a failed hijack attempt on a WFP boat, killing a Somali guard.
“We need some sort of security to ply into Somali waters ... because they (Somali pirates) are everywhere. Now they are ashore, very far off into the sea. It is becoming too much,” Inayet Kudrati of Motaku Shipping Agency said Monday.
The Maritime Safety Administration of China (MSAC) has warned Chinese ships to be vigilant against piracy in Somali waters.
The MSAC issued an urgent circular on Tuesday instructing Chinese ship-owners, shipping companies and captains to be on high alert for piracy and adopt necessary measures according to relevant procedures issued by the International Maritime Organization and the MSAC's advisory.
The MSAC urged Chinese crews to monitor information on pirate activities in Somali waters and be vigilant when passing through those areas. Shipping companies should report to the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center immediately on learning of pirate attacks. It also advised captains to avoid Somali waters if possible.