African nations call for help against piracy

Posted on 12/10/2011


African countries on the Indian Ocean have called for the international community to help them fight piracy in the area.

Kenya’s minister of tourism, Najib Balala told Travelmole that the East African countries including the Seychelles, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa are approaching the United Nations in New York for help.

Speaking from the UNWTO General Assembly in Korea, he requested the international community  come and find international solutions.

“We need the UN and the international community to intervene to help us. We have a challenge to address terrorist groups which are beyond Kenya’s border. We in Kenya become the victims,” he said.

Yesterday, British and US naval forces captured 11 Somali pirates after freeing an Italian cargo ship which had been seized 1,000km off Somalia.

Twenty three hostages were freed after locking themselves in the strong room of the 56,000-tonne Montecristo, a cargo ship carrying scrap metal from Liverpool to Vietnam.

Italian defence minister Ignazio La Russa said: “The criminals managed to cut off all means of communication, but the ‘prisoners’ tossed a bottle with a message through a porthole explaining the situation.”

This signalled the crew were out of harm’s way and that an operation could be launched without risking injury, he said.

Following recent piracy attacks on tourists in coastal resorts, Kenya’s tourism authorities have drafted in extra police to protect hotels on the coastline and there is helicopter surveillance of the border with Somalia.

The Foreign Office has advised against travel within 120 km of Somalia and a naval commander has said the whole African coastline in under threat.

Source: Hiiraan Online