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.”
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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.
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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.
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Via: BBC News
French APPN Card Course
P2P have organised a training course in France for MSO’s who wish to work on French Flag vessels but who do not possess an APPN card. The main purpose of this course is aimed at personnel who do not currently hold the APPN card however we will also be running a P2P induction course. Those with a current APPN card can therefore attend the induction course in order to work with P2P. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
P2P organise un stage en France au profit des candidats souhaitant rejoindre notre activité protection privée des navires français. Ceux qui n’ont pas encore la carte pro APPN se verront délivrer la formation requise en vue de l’obtention de la carte APPN (à tarif de groupe), ainsi que l’induction en vue de faciliter l’intégration chez P2P (à titre gracieux). Des détenteurs de la carte APPN pourront suivre le volet induction P2P de ce stage. Contacter email@example.com
Nigeria: Troops Thwart Attack On Agip Facility in Bayelsa As Ijaw Youths Demand Release of Kinsmen
By Sylvester Idowu in Warri and Emmanuel Addeh
Yenagoa — Troops attached to the Joint Military Force, the outfit deployed to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta, said yesterday that they outwitted suspected militants who attempted to attack an Agip oilfield in Okpoma, Bayelsa State. (more…)
KDF lauded for fighting piracy off Somali coast
By Daniel Psirmoi
Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia has been lauded for helping reduce piracy along the East African coast of the Indian Ocean. (more…)
Navy recover vessel used by hijackers
Four months after pirates hijacked an oil tanker, MT MAXIMUS, the Nigerian Navy (NN) has recovered a rogue vessel, MT DEJIKUN used by the pirates. (more…)
Armed Robbers Board Anchored Vessel off Indonesia
An anchored heavy lift carrier was boarded by four robbers armed with guns off Batu Ampar, Batam Island, Indonesia, according to data released by International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC). (more…)
India Carries Out Port Security Audits
India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh called Thursday for intensified efforts to secure the nation’s ports and coastal waterways against terrorist infiltration and attack. (more…)
NDA Claims Another Pipeline Attack in Niger Delta, New Group Enter Fray
As alleged peace talks break down before getting off the ground, and the Niger Delta militants claim another attack on a state-run oil pipeline, a second group has emerged, threatening an attack on a major gas plant in the region. (more…)