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Sending Pirates To Davey Jones’s Locker?

  • January 4th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

somali-pirates.jpgEuropean forces have been active in the first days of the new year against pirates at sea off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

Greek authorities reported (2.1.09) that a helicopter and another aircraft had chased pirates away from a tanker, and the French navy reported it had taken pirates captive in two separate incidents.

In November the European Union announced it would send a task force with initially six ships and some additional surveillance craft to the region, where piracy last year was getting out of control.

Some 15 hijacked ships and 200 people taken with them are believed to be held at this time, at places along the coast of Somalia, where there is no central government authority.

As well as the EU flotilla — including ships from Britain, France and Germany – NATO has set up an anti-piracy patrol, along with several individual nations, with warships from China, India, Malaysia, Russia and the United States now active in the region.

All countries with an interest in protesting the busy trade routes off North-east Africa were alerted when more than 60 acts of piracy were reported during 2008.

Many of the pirate groups have recruited fishermen who say that over-fishing by international fleets has undermined their livelihood and driven them into a lucrative field of crime, running to the on-selling of large cargoes, and holding hostages for ransom.

Reference:

Lisa Bryant, “EU takes on Somali pirates”, Voice of America, Paris, 10.11.08. www.voanews.com, (4.1.09).

BBC News, “EU force foils Somali pirates”, 2.1.09. www.bbc.com, (4.1.09).

Picture: Flotilla, criminalswanted.org

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