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Piracy war extended to Dar es Salaam, NATO ships dock at port for strategy plans

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, May 11, 2010.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    May 11, 2010
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    By ROSE ATHUMANI, 10th May 2010 @ 16:09,

    THE fight against sea piracy in the Indian Ocean has taken a push with NATO ships docking in Dar es Salaam to exchange views and ideas on how to tackle the problem on the Tanzanian waters and the Horn of Africa.

    This comes in the wake of Tanzania amending its laws to allow prosecution of those arrested for piracy in high seas, a move that was hailed by the British High Commissioner and the Royal Nay warship, HMS CHATHAM senior crew members.

    Giving a brief presentation to journalists onboard the Royal Navy Warship visiting Dar es Salaam for five days, Lieutenant Commander Royal Navy Graham Bennett noted that prosecuting pirates was the biggest challenge they were facing.

    “At a time we were forced to let them go because there were no laws for prosecuting pirates,” he added.

    The Commander of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2, Commodore Steven Chicks, noted that the visit will involve sharing information and establishing formal links with Tanzanian Navy.

    “We will basically share information on ways to counter piracy along the Indian Ocean,” Commodore Chicks said.

    Twenty members of the shipping industries in Dar es Salaam will also be briefed on safety measures that can be taken to foil attempts by pirates including using razor sharp barbed wire strung along the deck railings of vessels.

    Other measures include using armed guards, water cannon, electric fencing and devices that beam debilitating high pitched noises at attackers to keep pirates from boarding the ships. Twenty members of the Tanzania Navy were scheduled to visit the ship, which is part of five warships that make up the standing NATO Maritime Group 2, response force of NATO.

    The British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ms Diane Corner, noted that piracy has increased significantly in the seas off the Horn of Africa, over the last years.

    “Ships ranging from privately owned yachts to massive oil tankers have been taken hostage,” she explained.

    A few days ago, a Norwegian tanker headed for the Dar es Salaam Port was captured inside Tanzanian waters by pirates.

    “Piracy is no longer a problem limited to a small area but rather one that is growing and it affects a very large number of countries,” she said.

    The increasing wave of piracy on the country’s sea route will jeopardize commercial shipping and tourist vintage cruise ships, increasing the possibility of experiencing low-shipping traffic with dwindling export and import trade because of the problem.

    Ms Corner said piracy does not only pose a threat to vessels, crews and cargo but has become a big challenge to insurance companies. With high costs of fuel and stiff competition, shipping companies fail to take out adequate risk insurance cover, leaving vessels, crew and cargo exposed to attack and hijacking attempts from pirates.

    The Royal Navy warship has managed to disrupt 22 hijack attempts, foiled 15 attempts only in April this year.