Philippine troops rescue Indonesian hostages and kill top Abu Sayyaf militant

Philippine troops have killed a leader of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom group and rescued four Indonesian hostages held since last year, the military said on Sunday.

Majan Sahidjuan, alias Apo Mike, was severely wounded in a gunbattle with the marines on Saturday night in Languyan town in southern Tawi-Tawi province, and later died, said lieutenant general Corleto Vinluan Jr.

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Source: theguardian.com

ReCAAP issues alert regarding possible Abu Sayyaf Group kidnap efforts

The ReCAAP ISC has received information from the Philippine Coast Guard (ReCAAP Focal Point) about an incident involving a bulk carrier, Akij Pearl off Sibutu Island, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines on 3 March 2021 at about 1045 hrs. While the bulk carrier was underway, an unidentified speed boat with three perpetrators on board attempted to board the ship. The master reported the incident to the Philippine Navy Littoral Monitoring Station (LMS). There was no mention if the perpetrators were armed. Refer to map below on approximate location of incident.

 

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Source: recaap.org

Malaysia extends curfew in Sabah’s ESSZone until March 1

Sabah

The curfew in the waters off seven districts in Malaysia’s Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) has been extended until March 1.

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The curfew in the waters off seven districts in Malaysia’s Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone) has been extended until March 1.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the curfew covers the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

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Source: en.vietnamplus.vn

Troops seize another Abu Sayyaf harbour site in Sulu

SULU: Troops seized a harbour site of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) while on a combat operation in the hinterlands of Sulu, officials announced Monday.

Lt. Jerrica Angela Manongdo, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu information officer, said troops of the 2nd Special Forces Battalion (2SFBn) seized the harbour site in Barangay Danag, Patikul at around 7:15am, Sunday.

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Source: dailyexpress.com.my

Curfew in waters off ESSZone extended until Feb 14

Sabah

LAHAD DATU – The curfew in the waters off seven districts in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone), which is scheduled to end tomorrow, has been extended until Feb 14.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the curfew covers the waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

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Source: themalaysianreserve.com

Attacks at sea aren’t all linked to piracy. Why it’s important to unpick what’s what

Dirk Siebels, University of Greenwich

Pirate attacks against merchant ships off the African coast have been reported regularly over the past decade. And despite measures to suppress it, Somalia-based piracy remains a concern. On the other side of the continent, the Gulf of Guinea is now viewed as presenting a much more serious piracy problem.

Last year a record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The cluster of attacks in November and December has once again led to alarming headlines about the Gulf of Guinea being the world’s piracy hotspot.

But an increase in officially reported attacks does not necessarily mean that the actual number of attacks has increased. And individual cases must be analysed carefully. Attacks against small cargo ships trading solely in the Gulf of Guinea, for example, are often linked to criminal disputes or other illicit activities at sea. These incidents are very different from random attacks targeting merchant ships in international trade which are solely aimed at kidnapping seafarers to collect a large ransom and are, therefore, a profit-driven crime.

Similarly, reports about suspicious approaches against merchant ships off Somalia are still frequent. Most are related to smuggling operations between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula or simply to everyday fishing activities.

Pirate attacks may grab most headlines, but maritime security is important for wider reasons. Illicit activities at sea limit the potential benefits of economic activities linked to the sea – what’s referred to as the “blue economy”. This includes maritime trade, fishing activities, offshore oil and gas production or coastal tourism. Also, criminality at sea and on land are closely linked. Government agencies need to recognise this if security is to be improved.




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Gulf of Guinea: fighting criminal groups in the Niger Delta is key to defeating piracy


Many problems, few resources

Piracy remains arguably the most visible symptom of insecurity at sea. But coastal states also have other reasons to be concerned about it.

Illegal fishing, for example, has a direct impact on coastal communities where artisanal fishing is one of the few opportunities to earn a living. Smuggling on maritime routes even affects government income directly. Virtually all African countries rely heavily on customs revenues. When fuel, cigarettes or agricultural goods are smuggled, no import or export duties are paid. Less money can then be spent on schools, roads or hospitals, as my research has shown.

Governments are also concerned about drug trafficking or weapons smuggling at sea, underlined by international agreements which have been adopted by the majority of African coastal states.

Limited monitoring of maritime trade allows for a steady flow of pharmaceutical products – including fake drugs – into Africa as well as lucrative exports of unlicensed timber or illegal wildlife products.

Despite the widespread impacts, maritime security has only come into the political focus over the past decade. African countries have initiated international meetings about it. The African Union adopted a maritime strategy in 2014 and held a follow-up summit in Togo’s capital Lomé in 2016. But progress has been limited. National governments have largely failed to take concrete actions. Strategies aren’t supported by financial and human resources.

Even Ghana, where a comprehensive maritime strategy has been under development for years, is still unable to provide reliable funding for patrol boat operations.

The way forward

Some examples highlight that it is possible to provide more security at sea. In West Africa, Nigeria is leading the way with its $195 million Deep Blue project, scheduled to be fully operational in the coming months. This project is primarily aimed at better surveillance and enforcement across the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area that stretches out up to 200 nautical miles (around 360 kilometres) from the coastline.

Benin, Gabon and Tanzania have partnered with environmental organisations like Sea Shepherd to combat illegal fishing in their waters. Such non-traditional partnerships may help overcome short-term challenges and focus on urgent problems.

But it’s necessary to build capacity for the long term.

In many African countries, the blue economy could help to increase economic growth and development, although it should not be limited to economic gains. Acknowledging the needs of local communities and environmental sustainability are equally important. Investments can yield direct benefits which are five times higher than the initial outlay, according to a recent study. And the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goal 14 on ocean resources could strengthen efforts to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.




À lire aussi :
Lift for maritime sector in Kenya and Djibouti after fall in piracy


Despite some alarming headlines, there is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic has had an immediate impact on security threats at sea. But growth forecasts have been slashed and governments are unlikely to prioritise spending on navies and other maritime agencies.

Security concerns on land are much more immediate threats, and even relatively limited stimulus packages are another burden for government budgets.

A closer analysis of sea piracy is important for law enforcement and longer-term prevention whether these are solely aimed at pirates or at organised criminal groups. It is also important for shipping companies because it affects the threat assessment when attacks are linked to criminal activities and aimed at specific ships rather than random targets.

Short-term solutions for long-standing problems are impossible. Even small steps, however, are important to improve maritime security in the medium to long term. That would be in line with the AU’s maritime strategy which highlights the blue economy’s potential contribution to economic growth and development across the continent.The Conversation

Dirk Siebels, PhD (Maritime Security), University of Greenwich

Cet article est republié à partir de The Conversation sous licence Creative Commons. Lire l’article original.

Special forces in Sulu recover ASG firearms, speedboat —AFP

Special forces in Indanan, Sulu on Monday recovered firearms and a speedboat allegedly from the Abu Sayyaf Kidnap for Ransom Group, Joint Task Force Sulu said.

In a statement on Tuesday, JTF Sulu said that 11th Infantry Division commander Major General William Gonzales, operating troops of the 4th Special Forces Company and the 2nd Special Forces Battalion under the 1101st Infantry Brigade were able to recover high-powered firearms and other war materiel in So Andihi, Barangay Malimbaya.

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Source: gmanetwork.com

Esszone curfew extended until Jan 30

Sabah

By MUGUNTAN VANAR

KOTA KINABALU: The curfew in waters off seven districts under the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) has been extended to Jan 30, amid continued threats over cross border criminal activities.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said the dawn-to-dusk sea curfew will cover waters off Tawau, Semporna, Kunak, Lahad Datu, Kinabatangan, Sandakan and Beluran.

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Source: https://www.thestar.com.my

Gulf of Guinea records highest ever number of crew kidnapped in 2020, according to IMB’s annual piracy report

London and Kuala Lumpur, 13 January 2021 – The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s annual piracy report recorded an increase of piracy and armed robbery incidents in 2020.

In 2020, IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) received 195 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships worldwide, in comparison to 162 in 2019. The incidents included three hijacked vessels, 11 vessels fired upon, 20 attempted attacks, and 161 vessels boarded. The rise is attributed to an increase of piracy and armed robbery reported within the Gulf of Guinea as well as increased armed robbery activity in the Singapore Straits.

Incidents rise in the Gulf of Guinea

Globally, 135 crew were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% of crew numbers kidnapped. A record 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents. Since 2019, the Gulf of Guinea has experienced an unprecedented rise in the number of multiple crew kidnappings. In the last quarter of 2019 alone, the Gulf of Guinea recorded 39 crew kidnapped in two separate incidents.

Incidents in the Gulf of Guinea are particularly dangerous as over 80% of attackers were armed with guns, according to the latest IMB figures. All three vessel hijackings and nine of the 11 vessels fired upon in 2020 related to this region. Crew kidnappings were reported in 25% of vessel attacks in the Gulf of Guinea – more than any other region in the world.

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Source: icc-ccs.org

Esscom cripples drug trafficking syndicate at Semporna water village

By Avila Geraldine

SEMPORNA: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) busted a drug trafficking syndicate at a water village here, when they arrested seven individuals and seized RM13,000 worth of syabu in two separate raids.

Esscom commander Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman, in a statement today, said in a recent operation at Kampung Batu, security forces raided a house built on stilts and found drug-related items on the living room floor.

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Source: nst.com.my