Somalia to announce plans for first oil licensing round in December

Wendell Roelf

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Somalia will announce plans in December for its first ever oil and gas licensing round, its oil minister said on Tuesday, as the frontier market looks to attract new investment after decades of civil strife.

At least three mortar bombs were fired last month at Mogadishu’s international airport, the latest attack in a wave of violence that has afflicted the Horn of Africa nation since clan warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991.

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Source: reuters.com

Piracy: Community Chairman Wants Deployment Of Gunboats

Worried by the unabated sea pirate attacks which have resulted in constant fears and loss of several lives on the waterways, Chairman of the Community Development Committee of Bille Kingdom, Dr Somieari Isaac, has pleaded with the government to deploy the Navy to station in the New Calabar and Sombriero Rivers to check criminality on the waterways.

Making the appeal in a chat with The Tide, last Monday, in Port Harcourt, the CDC Chairman noted that several months after the Governor of the state, Nyesom Wike, and the Chairman of DELGA, Dr Tony Philmoore, launched the ‘Operation Sting’ security outfit, the community is yet to see a single gunboat patrolling the waterways.

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Source: thetidenewsonline.com

Pirates kidnap four crew from Greek boat off Togo – Togo navy

LOME (Reuters) – Pirates attacked a Greek oil tanker off the coast of Togo in the early hours of Monday and fled after taking four crew members as hostages, the West African nation’s navy said, two days after a similar attack in the waters of neighbouring Benin.

Of the missing crew members, two are Filipinos, one is Greek and one is Georgian, the navy said in a statement. One security guard was also shot and wounded in the attack, it said. “Monday, 4th of November 2019, around 0300, the tanker boat Elka Aristotle […] was attacked around 18 kilometres (11 miles) from the port of Lome by armed individuals,” the statement said.

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Source: euronews.com

Plymouth to host maritime cyber security research facility

Sam Chambers

A new research facility designed to address the key cyber security challenges facing the shipping industry is being established at the University of Plymouth.

The £3m Cyber-SHIP Lab, supported by funding from Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation, and industry, will bring together a host of connected maritime systems currently found on an actual ship’s bridge.

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Source: splash247.com

3 feared dead in Rivers sea pirate attack

Victor Edozie

Three persons are feared dead when gunmen suspected to be sea pirates in the early hours of Saturday attacked three passengers boats en-route Port Harcourt from Billie in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Eyewitness account had it that the gunmen, who attacked the boats separately along the route, also carted away properties belonging to passengers.

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Source: dailytrust.com.ng

Face-to-face with ruthless pirates who rule high seas

Ishaq Jumbe

In 2010, the Indian Ocean waters were a no go zone for merchant ships. Pirates ruled the waves and often, ships plying the lucrative and historic trade route would find themselves in the wrong hands.

But as the lawlessness went on, one group of pirates found themselves on the wrong end of the gun barrel one night in September 2012. On this day, their seawater-beaten Kalashnikovs met their match and by the time dawn broke, most of them lay dead, with others scattered in the high seas.

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Source: standardmedia.co.ke

Nine sailors abducted off the coast of Benin

MV Bonita, image via J.J. Ugland.

A Norway-based shipping company says that nine of its employees have been abducted from one of its vessels while it was moored off the coast of Benin in West Africa.

Shipping firm J.J. Ugland said the cargo ship, the Bonita, was attacked on Saturday by pirates 15km (9 miles) off the coast.

The crew’s identity and nationality have not been made public, but the shipping firm said the rest of the crew moved the vessel into the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

The ship was carrying a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, the firm said.

While piracy has decreased world wide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea remains notorious for abductions by armed groups who usually demand ransoms for the safe return of victims.

Several abductions have been reported in the region in recent months, including eight crew members taken from a German-owned vessel off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish sailors off the coast of Nigeria in July.

Source: bbc.com