Somalia: Who Will Put Down the Pirates?


November 18, 2005: There are apparently two "mother ships", for pirate gangs, operating off the Somali coast. Eyewitness reports say that at least one ship has a derrick on board for putting smaller speed boats in the water. The smaller boats go off and make the attacks. The U.S. and other major naval powers are under pressure to send in warships to shut the pirates down. At the moment, three cargo ships, three fishing boats and two dhows are being held for ransom by the pirates.

November 22, 2005: Commercial shipping companies have been warned again to keep their ships at least 400 kilometers off the Somali coast, in order to avoid pirates. Insurance companies are threatening to raise rates for ships that operate out of north Kenyan ports, because of the possibility that the pirates might go after that traffic as well. Meanwhile, it is costing ships more money to transit the area, because they must swing wide to stay far away from the Somali coast.

November 19, 2005: Pirates have released a gasoline tanker, the San Carlos, and its 24 man crew. The ship had been held for a month for ransom. The ship was on its way from Bahrain to South Africa when it was captured by pirates.


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