UK Team Leaders Required

The Neptune P2P Group are currently recruiting UK Team Leaders for work in 2017 and beyond.

Candidates must have at least 5 years military (UK) experiance from an infantry or all arms background. Experience of maritime security within the High Risk Area (HRA) is essential.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Passport
  • Seaman Book
  • ENG 1
  • Mental Health Letter
  • Criminal Records Check (Clean) and not older than 6 months
  • Yellow fever certificate
  • STCW Certificates – within 5 years (as of 1st January 2017)
  • MSO Certificate
  • Military Discharge Certificate
  • CV
  • In date MFCC Certificate

Further to the above mandatory requirements, any candidate with the below documents / tests will be fast tracked through our recruitment process.

  • Drug and Alcohol Test (within 6 months)
  • Team Medic
  • Any other relevant qualifications

All candidates must be prepared to to work over holiday periods. Interested applicants should contact recruitment@neptune-ms.com

NATO Ends Counter-Piracy Mission

NATO has ended its Indian Ocean counter-piracy mission after a sharp fall in attacks, the alliance said on Wednesday, as it shifts resources to deterring Russia in the Black Sea and people smugglers in the Mediterranean.

All ships and patrol aircraft have now left the area off the Horn of Africa, where they patrolled since 2009, as part of a broader international effort to crack down on Somali-based pirates who had caused havoc with world shipping.

NATO says its “Ocean Shield” operation, as well as European Union and other counter-piracy missions, have significantly reduced attacks, with no ships captured off Somalia since May 2012, down from more than 30 ships at the peak in 2010-11.

After more than a decade of NATO-led operations far beyond its borders, the U.S.-led military alliance is shifting to defend its territory to deter Russia in the east, following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

“The global security environment has changed dramatically in the last few years and NATO navies have adapted with it,” NATO spokesman Dylan White said in a statement. “NATO has increased maritime patrols in the Baltic and Black Seas. We are also working to help counter human smuggling in the Mediterranean.”

For the full article, please click here.

Via: Reauters

 

Cooperation is key to securing maritime security in the Indian Ocean

Maritime security is a major challenge for the poorer coastal and island countries of the Indian Ocean Region. In particular those that have large zones of maritime jurisdiction. The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest ocean. It has an area of around 73.5 million square kilometers. Unlike the Pacific and the Atlantic, it is enclosed on three sides by landmasses.

The Indian Ocean region comprises all the littoral and island states of that ocean. Some of these nations also share borders with the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. There are forty‑eight independent countries in the region including hinterland and landlocked states of East Africa and South Asia. There are 18 in Africa, 11 in the Middle East, seven in South Asia, six in Southeast Asia, five island states, and Australia.

The island states of Madagascar, Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles, for example, have maritime zones of around 1 million square kilometers or more. Some west Indian Ocean states, notably Somalia and Yemen, also have large maritime zones that are fish rich. They are open to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing. But also other forms of maritime crime, including piracy, drug and arms smuggling.

Managing maritime security is a challenging endeavour. It requires cooperation between regional countries, and between those with a stake in regional security. Maritime security is no longer thesole prerogative of navies with more non-military agencies now involved.

Maritime security is a priority for the Indian Ocean Rim Association, currently the main regional organisation for economic and security cooperation. It recently committed its members to working on increasing cooperation among navies and other maritime security forces in the region. The plan is to do this collaboratively with the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, a voluntary initiative to address shared maritime security challenges and threats. The threats include illegal trafficking in drugs, arms and people, piracy, terrorism, illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and the risks of natural disasters.

Read More Via: The conversation

Egypt gives life sentences to Brotherhood supporters for 2013 riot

An Egyptian court sentenced two Muslim Brotherhood supporters on Saturday to life in prison and 16 others to 15 years in jail for a violent assault on a Cairo neighbourhood in 2013 after the ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi.

The attack, which left seven dead, was part of a wave of violence that swept across Egypt after the army removed elected Islamist president Mursi from power in July 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

Since deposing Mursi, the authorities have held mass trials for thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, with hundreds receiving death sentences or lengthy prison terms. Mursi has been sentenced in four cases since his ouster, including a death penalty for a mass jail break in 2011

The 104 defendants in Saturday’s case, dubbed by local media as the “Boulaq Abou al-Ela case” for the run-down Cairo district where the riot took place, were part of a pro-Brotherhood march held two days after sit-ins supporting the group were violently dispersed leaving hundreds dead.

The defendants were tried on a range of charges that included murder, assault, joining an armed gang, resisting arrest, damaging public and private property, and possession of firearms, judicial sources said.

Eighty-six of the defendants were found innocent, the sources added.

The government deems the Brotherhood a terrorist group. The Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest opposition movement dating back decades, says it remains committed to peaceful activism.

Mass trials that have ended in death penalties and life sentences have drawn criticism from activists and rights groups at home and abroad. The Egyptian government says the judiciary is independent and that it never intervenes in its work.

Read More via: Defence Web

Somali pirates ‘hostages’ ate rats to survive

A group of sailors who were held hostage by Somali pirates for nearly five years survived in part by eating rats, one survivor has told the BBC.

Filipino sailor Arnel Balbero said they were also only given small amounts of water and felt like “the walking dead” by the end of their ordeal.

The 26 sailors were seized on board their ship in 2012 and were eventually taken to Somalia.

They were freed on Saturday, reportedly after a ransom was paid.

The sailors were from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan.

Mr Balbero was among the crew of the FV Naham 3 when it was captured by Somali pirates south of the Seychelles. One crew member was killed during the capture, according to non-governmental organisation Oceans Beyond Piracy.

A year later, the ship sank and the crew were brought onshore in Somalia. Two sailors subsequently died of illnesses.

Mr Balbero told the BBC that the last four and a half years had left him and his compatriots “like walking dead”.

Asked how the pirates treated them, he said: “They give us small amount of water only… We eat rat. Yes, we cook it in the forest.”

“We just eat anything, anything. You feel hungry, you eat.”

He also spoke of their difficulties adjusting to life after their ordeal, saying: “I don’t know what is… outside of this world when this finish, so it’s very hard to start again.”

The group are believed to be some of the last remaining captives held by Somali pirates, after a wave of hijackings in the mid-2000s.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia, usually for ransom, has reduced significantly in recent years, in part because of extensive international military patrols of the most vulnerable areas.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: BBC News

 

Egypt’s Security Chief Warns of Scheme to Incite Chaos

Egypt’s interior minister warned in comments published Monday that the country faced “unprecedented challenges” that require a decisive response by security forces, accusing the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood of inciting chaos.

The minister’s comments was the latest sign of alarm by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government over possible unrest in a backlash against rising prices and tough economic reforms

Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar, who is in charge of the police, said the Brotherhood was seeking through “conspiratorial schemes to incite chaos and confusion with the aim of creating skepticism over the ability of the state and its institutions to satisfy popular expectations.”

“The security forces will not, under any circumstances, tolerate any attempt to repeat the scenes of chaos and sabotage at a time when the country is moving forward with firm steps toward a promising future, God willing,” he said in a ministry statement run in state newspapers Monday.

Abdel-Ghaffar did not elaborate, but appeared to be alluding to the 2011 popular uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s police force largely melted away on the fourth day of the 18-day uprising, when police stations were stormed and thousands of inmates broke out from a number of prisons.

His comments, however, are the latest warning by officials and pro-government media against what they say are calls by the Brotherhood for street demonstrations on Nov. 11 to protest against prices rises and other economic woes.

There has been no reliable evidence that the Brotherhood was specifically behind the call for protests next month, although the group has consistently encouraged anti-government protests by its supporters since senior Brotherhood official Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected but divisive president, was ousted in July 2013, by the military, then led by el-Sissi.

In an Oct. 14 statement posted on its website, the Brotherhood urges Egyptians to rise up and topple el-Sissi’s government, but gives no specific date for the demonstrations it is calling for.

El-Sissi appeared to refer to these planned protests when, in a meeting with government leaders Saturday, he urged authorities to be on high alert and beef up the defense of vital state installations. The meeting came just hours after a senior Egyptian army officer was gunned down outside his home in an eastern Cairo suburb.

A little-known group with suspected links to the Brotherhood claimed responsibility for the brazen daylight attack.

El-Sissi’s government has already shown sensitivity to signs of a popular backlash over the economy. The presidency has issued near-daily statements saying el-Sissi is instructing ministers to ensure the availability of basic staples at affordable prices and to prosecute any merchants found to be hoarding food supplies.

Despite the economic crisis, el-Sissi appears to enjoy considerable public backing, though it has shown some erosion since 2014 when he was hailed as a national savior. The Egypt-based polling agency Baseera, one of the few that conducts polls in the country, said its latest survey this month showed 68 percent of respondents approve of his performance, down from 79 percent in April and 85 percent in November. The poll surveyed 1,520 people above the age of 18 with a margin of error of 3 percent.

The perceived fears of a popular backlash over the economy come as shortages and rising food prices are feeding discontent among Egyptians, who are also enduring new taxes and a hike in utility bills. The government must also introduce a package of economic reforms that would further hike prices, including the devaluation of the pound and lifting fuel subsidies, to secure a $12-billion dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund to bail out Egypt’s ailing economy.

Egypt is suffering an acute foreign currency shortage because of the decimation of its lucrative tourism industry, a fall in Suez Canal revenues and reduced remittances from Egyptian expatriates. It also suffers from double digit rates of inflation and unemployment.

Its economic crisis comes as Egypt’s security forces are battling an Islamic militant insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: abcNews

Egyptian lawyers protest new VAT tax

In recent months, import-dependent Egypt has seen increases in prices of different items amid double-digit inflation.

Cairo: Dozens of Egyptian lawyers gathered outside the country’s top court in central Cairo on Saturday, protesting the recently introduced value-added tax (VAT) in a rare protest since President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi took office more than two years ago.

The protesters chanted slogans against the VAT law that applies to legal offices.

Some of them chanted “Oh, government, lawyers are against the tax!” and “The VAT is void!”

They also raised placards, demanding the tax scrapped.

“We are not merchants in order to be subjected to this tax that is imposed only to collect money,” a lawyer named Mahmoud said

After the demonstration, the protesters headed to the nearby Bar Association headquarters. Security forces deployed in the area did not interfere.

Street rallies are banned in Egypt without prior police approval.

A similar protest was reportedly held in Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city.

The independent Bar Association has called for an emergency meeting to discuss further escalation measures.

The independent union’s chairman Sameh Ashour has rejected the application of VAT tax to lawyers, saying it violates “technical and legal international standards”.

The controversial tax went into effect in Egypt last month, applying to a range of goods and services as part of reforms aimed at propping up the state’s finances and revitalizing the economy battered by the unrest that followed the 2011 uprising.

The government has said that a long list of basic commodities, including food and medicines, are exempted from the VAT.

However, market observers say that merchants took advantage of the tax to hike up prices of their goods.

In recent months, import-dependent Egypt has seen increases in prices of different items amid double-digit inflation.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: Gulf News

 

 

Ethiopia blames Egypt and Eritrea over unrest

 

Ethiopia’s information minister says groups in Eritrea and Egypt are contributing to the unrest, which has led to a six-month state of emergency.

Getachew Reda said the foreign elements are arming and financing opposition groups, but not necessarily with the formal backing of their governments.

Under the state of emergency troops will be deployed to quell protests.

It follows months of anti-government demonstrations by members of the country’s two largest ethnic groups.

Violence has intensified since the beginning of the month when at least 55 people were killed during a protests at an Oromo religious festival.

The state of emergency, which was announced on Sunday, will last for six months.

Mr Getachew told journalists in the Ethiopian, capital, Addis Ababa, that “all kinds of elements in the Egyptian political establishment” are involved but they were “not necessarily directly linked with the Egyptian government”, the AP news agency quotes him as saying.

The minister also pointed the finger at Eritrea, with which Ethiopia has a long-standing border dispute.

There has also been a long-running row with Egypt over Ethiopia’s decision to build a dam on the Nile, one of the river’s sources of which flows from Ethiopia to Egypt.

Mr Getachew earlier told the BBC that the state of emergency could involve banning protests.

“For the sake of maintaining public order the government believes that [the] temporary suspension of certain expression rights is warranted,” he explained.

“Armed violence that has been perpetrated by those organised gangs has been targeting civilians, has been targeting government installations, critical infrastructure.

“We have ample evidence that it is orchestrated by people who are in the business of not [just] dismantling the Ethiopian government but also dismantling the Ethiopian state in its entirety,” he said.

Mr Getachew also promised that the Ethiopian authorities would investigate claims that “off-grid” police officers had killed civilians.

BBC World Service Africa editor Mary Harper says the violent protests are the most serious threat to Ethiopian stability in a quarter of a century.

The protests in recent months have been over a series of frustrations including attempts by the governments to reallocate land in the Oromo region.

Rights groups say that more than 500 people have died following clashes between police and protesters.

Activists among the Oromo and Amhara communities complain that they are being politically excluded.

The Oromo and the Amhara make up about 60% of the population. They complain power is held by a small Tigrayan elite.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: BBC News

UK commits troops to train Egyptian military in counter-terrorism tactics

British troops will continue to train the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) to tackle terrorism and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said during a visit to Cairo.

Fallon said that in line with the 2015-2016 contribution, British military support and training would continue with the Ministry of Defence saying that the “UK and Egypt have already made great steps through initial train-the-trainer focused work” and that they remain “committed to enabling the EAF to replicate the training in Egypt.

In a statement Fallon lauded the “vital training” which he said had “helped Egyptian Armed Forces to defuse dangerous devices as they tackle the threat from our common enemy – terrorism.

We are now going to step up co-operation with our Egyptian allies to help them increase training capacity in their Armed Forces,” he said.

Fallon also took the time to highlight the arms trading relationship between the two countries.

Egypt is a key partner, and we will continue to work together to achieve security and stability in this region,” he said.

In May 2016 Egypt featured in a report by the NGO Amnesty International which condemned the widespread use of British troops to train the security forces of regimes which – like Egypt – feature on the UK’s own human rights watch lists.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: https://www.rt.com/

33 bodies are pulled from wreckage of migrant boat from the sea in Egypt

Egypt raised the wreck of a migrant boat Tuesday and recovered at least 33 bodies, taking to 202 the death toll from last week’s sinking off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Up to 450 migrants had been crowded aboard the fishing trawler when it keeled over off the port city of Rosetta on September 21, including an estimated 100 in its hold.

The Egyptian military said 163 people had been rescued, the boat would have had at least 365 people on board when it went down en route to Italy, according to official figures.

On Monday, police detained the owner of the vessel. judicial source said he could face charges of human trafficking and involuntary manslaughter.

The United Nations’ refugee agency said Friday that most of those rescued were Egyptians but they also included migrants from Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Ethiopians.

Since 2014, there has been a steady increase in the number of interceptions of refugees and migrants trying to leave Egypt in an irregular manner,’ said the UNHCR.

‘Many refugees and migrants may be using Egypt as a transit country,’ it said, adding 2016 was expected to be the deadliest year on record for Mediterranean crossings by migrants. 

The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that 3,501 migrants and refugees have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year.

For the full article, please click here.

Via: www.dailymail.co.uk