India, Yemen Act to Combat Pirates

Somali pirates
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If a proposal by the Indian Navy to its government is accepted, soon the Indian Navy could be patrolling the dangerous pirate zone in the Gulf of Aden, the critical pathway to the Red Sea for cruising sailors.

In the wake of recent hijacks of ships on the Somalia coast and the threat to shipping line, Indian Navy has sent the proposal to the Indian government of having regular patrols in the Somalia waters.

The proposal was written after pirates took over a cargo ship, 'Iran Deynat' in Somalia on August 21. There were total 24 people in the ship including three Indians. The ship 'Iran Deynat' was sailing towards Somalia carrying cargo from Poland.

The proposal deals with the implications of having regular patrols in the area, and this could lead to quicker response by the Indian Navy in case of similar incidents in the future. This could lead to unilateral action or even joint action against pirates.

'We are ready to work under the UN flag and we need not worry about our safety as the UN charter does not forbid use of force in self-defence,' a spokesman for the Indian Navy said.

The transitional federal government of Somalia has authorized the United Nations Security Council to permit other countries to enter Somalia waters to fight pirates.

So far, only the Canada has taken up the opportunity.

However, the Yemen News Agency reported yesterday that Yemen has begun coordinating extensively with some countries to put an end to piracy by Somali gangs in the region.

yemeni Governmental sources said that the move includes regional and international security coordination and exchange information between the concerned bodies to guarantee the safety of the international navigation and ships and boats protection from acts of piracy in addition apprehending the criminals and bringing them to courts.

This is good news for cruising sailors, coming from a nation which used to be known as the source of pirate attacks.

Somali coastal waters are among the most hazardous in the world, despite the fact that US and NATO warships have been patrolling the region for years, a security measure linked to the Iraq war.

While pirates have launched 31 attacks on vessels off Somalia’s eastern and northern coasts so far this year, to date no escorted World Food Program (WFP) ships have been targeted. France, Denmark and the Netherlands have provided naval escorts to these shipe over the last eight months. Two known yacht incidents have taken place, both kidnappings, and both of which were solved with the assistance of ransoms. No cruising sailors' lives have been lost.

Important Note for Cruisers intending to transit the Gulf of Aden in the coming season:

Through the good services of Noonsite , the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) would like to be kept informed of convoys of yachts passing through the area. Please click here to access the Noonsite information