Amid Red Sea Crisis, Ships Now Face Rise in Somali Piracy

Amid red sea crisis -Merchant Navy Info

Attacks on ships have increased piracy off the coast of Somalia since maritime security was disrupt. By Houthi militants in the Red Sea crisis in response to the war between Israel and Hamas. The Horn of Africa country has recorded five attacks on commercial vessels off its coast since November. Somalia Maritime Authority chief Hassan Mohamed Afra said by phone on Friday. This ends a period of stability that led the global shipping industry to classify the Indian Ocean coastline. As a “high-risk area” in 2022. In a recent incident, hostages were taken aboard the Maltese-flagged MV Luen in December. And 18 crew members were rescued by Indian, Japanese, and Spanish warships. According to the International Maritime Bureau. This is the first successful hijacking of a ship off the coast of Somalia since 2017. 

On the 5th, the Indian Navy again dispatched warships and helicopters to hijack the Liberia-bound MS Lila Norfolk. But it turned out that the pirates had already escaped. Somali soldiers engaged kidnappers off the coast of Galmudug province. Last week after hijacking a commercial vessel from a local businessman. “We pursued the pirates who hijacked the boat, and after a few minutes of fighting. We succeeded in recovering the boat and handing it over to its owner,” said Commander Ali Warsame of the Galmudug Coast Guard. In addition to attacks on large vessels, at least five small Iranian fishing boats have been getting attacks in recent weeks. According to Crisis24, an international security consulting firm.

Mr. Afra denounced the recent surge in European warships leaving the region. And the U.S. military’s concerns about the Houthi threat in Yemen. A container ship that previously sailed through the Red Sea to and from the Suez Canal. It is now extending its route by several weeks to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. “With the E.U. Navy withdrawing from the area to keep the pirates at bay  and the U.S. Navy also distracted by tensions in the Red Sea, pirates are resurfacing and taking advantage of the situation,” he said. According to Afra, 28,082 ships sailed along the Somali coast last year. The Kenya-based East African Shippers Council warned that if the piracy trend continues. It could increase costs for shippers and disrupt supply chains such as  Kenyan tea exports.

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