IMB: Piracy at Sea Falls to Lowest Level in Seven Years

first_imgzoom The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has revealed that piracy on the world’s seas is at its lowest third-quarter level since 2006, but warns of the threat of continuing violent attacks off the East and West coasts of Africa.The latest IMB Piracy Report, published today, shows 188 piracy incidents in the first nine months of 2013, down from 233 for the same period last year. Hostage-taking has also fallen markedly, with 266 people taken hostage this year, compared with 458 in the first three quarters of 2012.In the first nine months of 2013, IMB’s global figures show pirates hijacked 10 vessels, fired at 17, and boarded 140. A further 21 attacks were thwarted. In total 266 crew were taken hostage and 34 kidnapped. One seafarer was killed, twenty were injured, and one is reported missing.IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan urged caution: “Although the number of attacks is down overall, the threat of attacks remains, particularly in the waters off Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea. It is vital that ship masters continue to be vigilant as they transit these waters.”Attacks in seas around Somalia continued to fall dramatically, with just 10 incidents attributed to Somali pirates this year, down from 70 in the same nine months of 2012. IMB attributes this improvement to the actions of naval forces engaged in anti-piracy operations, security teams on board vessels, ships complying with the industry’s best management practices, and the stabilizing influence of the Central Government of Somalia.“The vital role of the navies off the coast of Somalia should not be underestimated. Their presence ensures that pirates do not operate with the impunity they did before,” said Captain Mukundan.As monsoons subside in NW Indian Ocean the weather will become more conducive for small pirate skiffs to operate again.As of 30 September 2013, suspected Somali pirates held two vessels for ransom with 15 crewmembers on board. In addition, 49 kidnapped crewmembers are held on land, 37 of whom have been held for over two years.With fewer attacks off Somalia, attention has moved to the Gulf of Guinea, a hotspot for violent piracy and ship hijacking for many years. The region recorded more than 40 piracy attacks in the first three quarters of 2013, with 132 crew taken hostage and seven vessels hijacked – six tankers and an offshore supply vessel. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for all crew kidnappings worldwide, 32 of them off Nigeria, and two off Togo.Nigeria, the main source of piracy in the region, accounted for 29 piracy incidents, including two hijackings, 11 ships boarded, 13 vessels fired upon and three attempted attacks. Pirates, often heavily armed and violent, are targeting vessels and their crews along the coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. In many cases, they ransack the vessels and steal the cargo, usually gas oil.Co-ordinated patrols by Benin and Nigerian Authorities have helped reduce attacks in parts of the Gulf of Guinea. However, IMB warns that pirates move around the region if left unchecked, citing the hijacking of a tanker off Port Gentil, Gabon in July 2013, by suspected Nigerian pirates.Elsewhere in the world, one area of rising armed robbery attacks is Indonesia. Here, IMB recorded 68 low-level attacks to vessels, nearly all at anchor. Robbers boarding the vessels were usually armed with knives or machetes. Detailing the most attacked anchorages in its piracy report. IMB calls for increased patrols, and warns ships to stay alert in these waters.IMB, October 18, 2013last_img read more

Western Sahara: Security Council to Consult on MINURSO January 29

Rabat – The UN Security Council has announced its Provisional Programme of Work of Security Council for January 2019.In its agenda, the Security Council is dedicating January to consulting on peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.The Western Sahara conflict is on the agenda, with the consultation on MINURSO due to take place on January 29.In December, the Security Council Report announced that the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Horst Kohler, would brief the Security Council on the conflict and MINURSO in January. The consultation agenda targeting UN missions follows US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s remarks  addressing what he perceives to be unnecessary UN missions that fail to end stalled conflicts.Regarding MINURSO, Bolton expressed frustration that 27 years after its creation, the body has proven “ineffective” and has not ended the conflict over the region.Read Also: Kohler to Brief Security Council on Western Sahara, MINURSO in JanuaryIn addition to MINURSO, the 15 members of the Security Council will also consult on MONUSCO operating in the Republic of Congo, UNOWAS in West Africa and, UNFICYP in Cyprus.In December at the Heritage Foundation, Trump’s national security advisor discussed the US’s financial contributions to the UN missions in African conflict zones.“The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization,” Bolton said.He added that his country will “not tolerate this longstanding pattern of aid without effect, assistance without accountability, and relief without reform.”US Representative for UN Management and Reform Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet echoed Bolton’s remarks.“Unfortunately in a deeply dissatisfying and disappointing turn of events, every country decided reform was good and right for the UN, but not for how it is financed,” she said.The US is a top contributor to the UN budget, providing $10 billion annually. read more

Russia monitoring reports of arrest in Lanka

They also had various equipment including laptops in their possession which were used in the credit card scam. The police spokesman said that the Russians had over Rs. 2.5 million in their possession. The Russian embassy in Sri Lanka is looking into the information on the reported arrest of five  Russians over a Credit Card scam.“The embassy has not received any official information from the police on the arrest of Russian citizens. Nevertheless, the information reported by the media is being checked,” a spokesperson from the Russian embassy in Sri Lanka told RIA Novosti. Police spokesman Priyashantha Jayakody had said earlier that the Russians were arrested in Wellawatte on Friday and placed in police remand. read more