The hidden face of the war in Cabo Delgado

By Centro para Democracie e Desenvolvimento (CDD)

The establishment of the terrorist groups al-Shabab and the Islamic State with claims to establish the Islamic Law, the corporate interests of the oil industry and the lobby of Erik Prince, a former operative of the American military elite, now at the head of a private business proposal to pacify Cabo Delgado, are considered so far by academics, press and the civil society as the motivations explaining the armed insurgency in the potentially richest province of Mozambique.

By far, heavy drug trafficking and the illegal extraction of resources are framed in the equation. However, as documented by international reports and frequent police seizures, the coast of Cabo Delgado has been an important drug corridor in East Africa since the 1990s, a position recently expanded after Tanzania and Kenya repressed the trafficking networks, pushing them into Mozambican waters.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

Nigeria: Tackling Resurgence of Militancy, Sea Robbery

Chiemelie Ezeobi writes that the recently flagged off Exercise Calm Waters 11 has recorded some gains in tackling the resurgence of militancy and sea robbery off Nigerian waters, up to the Exclusive Economic Zone

Violent attacks against ships and their crews have risen in 2020, with global figure of 77 seafarers taken hostage or kidnapped for ransom since January. This was disclosed by the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report.

According to the bureau, the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), off West Africa is increasingly dangerous for commercial shipping, accounting for just over 90 per cent of maritime kidnappings worldwide. Meanwhile ship hijackings are at their lowest since 1993.

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Source: allafrica.com

Yaounde Code of Conduct taking shape in the Gulf of Guinea

Security professionals in the Gulf of Guinea know that if they want to spot criminals in the open water, the best place to look is along a maritime border.

Historically, this has been the space where pirates, illegal fishermen and traffickers felt safest knowing that, if confronted, they could flee into another country’s waters.

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Source: defenceweb.co.za

Nigeria: Navy Deploys Eight Ships, Two Helicopters to Tackle Insecurity in Nigerian Waters

The Nigerian Navy yesterday disclosed that it has deployed eight of its warships and two fighter jets to tackle cases of insecurity in the country’s territorial waters.

It said the deployment is part of a 30-day sea operations tagged: ‘Okun Alaafia II’, a Yoruba word for ‘calm water’ II, which it said is aimed at checking illegalities around the country’s waters.

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Source: allafrica.com

Piracy: Institute urges FG to re-engage Tompolo’s company

He hinged the appeal on the recent acquittal of Chief Government Ekpemupolo and Capt. Enusoh Warredi of charges of corruption and seizure of their maritime security assets, including the surveillance and combat vessels, belonging to GWSV.

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Source: thenewsnigeria.com.ng

Eagle Bulk Reports the Successful Resolution of Security Incident Onboard Vessel

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (NASDAQ: EGLE) (“Eagle Bulk” or the “Company”), one of the world’s largest owner-operators within the Supramax / Ultramax Drybulk segment, today reported that it has successfully resolved a security incident on board the vessel M/V Jaeger involving an armed security guard.

On July 21, 2020, M/V Jaeger embarked three security guards in the Indian Ocean before sailing towards the Red Sea, as the Company has done for all transits through the High Risk Area (HRA) over the past 10+ years, in accordance with industry best practices. Once on board, one of the guards did not surrender his weapon to the vessel’s Captain as is normal protocol, and then took control of and deviated the ship from its course as he voiced his grievances and demanded compensation. While the guard discharged his weapon on board the vessel, at no time did he directly threaten or harm any of the crewmembers. The remaining two guards did not participate in this action. Unbeknownst to the Company, there was an employment dispute between the guard and his employer, and he had not been paid for several months.

Eagle Bulk, in coordination with maritime security experts, worked to deescalate the situation and after a period of approximately three days, the guard surrendered his weapon and allowed the ship to continue on its original course.  Relevant authorities were kept appraised throughout the incident, and the guard was disembarked last night.

The Company maintained regular contact with the Captain throughout this event, and V Ships, the vessel’s crewing manager, also maintained an active dialogue with the crew’s families to keep them updated. Eagle Bulk and V Ships’ primary concern was the safety of the crew, and as a point of clarity, neither company was a party to the employment dispute. Eagle Bulk expresses its appreciation for the professionalism shown by the vessel’s Captain and crew throughout this ordeal. The Company is very grateful for the efforts of its crew, the V Ships team, and our partners who worked around the clock over the past 10 days to ensure a safe and successful resolution.

Due to the sensitive nature of the incident the Company will not be releasing any more information at this time.

About Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc.

Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (“Eagle” or the “Company”) is a US-based fully integrated shipowner-operator providing global transportation solutions to a diverse group of customers including miners, producers, traders, and end users. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, with offices in Singapore and Copenhagen, Eagle focuses exclusively on the versatile mid-size drybulk vessel segment and owns one of the largest fleets of Supramax / Ultramax vessels in the world. The Company performs all management services in-house (including: strategic, commercial, operational, technical, and administrative) and employs an active management approach to fleet trading with the objective of optimizing revenue performance and maximizing earnings on a risk-managed basis. For further information, please visit our website: www.eagleships.com.

Source: ir.eagleships.com

Amid a Pandemic, the Jolly Roger Flies High

Asia, West Africa and the Americas experience upticks in naval gang attacks as the coronavirus pandemic stirs fears of increasing piracy.

By Kevin Drew

Late at night in the Singapore Strait, the five men quietly pulled their small speedboat alongside the bulk cargo vessel Vega Aquarius and climbed aboard the much larger ship. The men, armed with knives, were noticed by an on-duty crewman while they were on the stern of the deck.

The men rushed the crewman, who managed to escape after his cell phone was seized. Alarms were raised throughout the ship, deck lights came on and the ship’s full crew was mustered. A ship-wide search failed to find the thieves but revealed that two sets of breathing apparatus were stolen. The attacked seaman sustained minor head injuries.

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Source: usnews.com

10 Suspected Pirates Accused Of Hijacking Vessel Denied Bail

Adeshola Soyele

The Federal High Court in Lagos has refused to grant bail to 10 suspected pirates accused of hijacking a fishing vessel, FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company.

Justice Ayokunle Faji denied them bail on Wednesday on the ground that the gravity of the charge against them bordered on the threat to national security.

He also considered the punishments for the alleged crimes, which stipulates a life sentence or at least a fine of not less than N50 million and restitution, if found guilty under the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act of 2019.

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Source: channelstv.com

Two Cases of Cocaine Smuggling Discovered in Rotterdam on the Same Day

[Brief] Customs officials at the Port of Rotterdam reported the discovery of two separate incidents of cocaine smuggling in containers arriving at the port over the weekend. A total of approximately 242 kilos of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $21 million was discovered in two different shipments both originated in Brazil.

In the first instance, inspectors searched a container that had arrived in Rotterdam on July 22 from Santos. The container that was destined for a company in Rotterdam, was manifested to be carrying orange pulp. Hidden behind a wall in the container, customs officers found 30 kilos of cocaine.

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Source: maritime-executive.com

NN Launches Operation ‘Bekan Mmon 2’ In C/ River

By

The Nigerian Navy at the weekend in Calabar flagged off “Operation Bekan Mmon two” in order to keep the Calabar waterways (maritime environment) peaceful and safe from criminal activities which may include sea robbery, oil bunkering, hostage taking and others for economic prosperity of the country.

Speaking at the navy jetty, Headquarters of Eastern Naval Command Nigerian Navy Calabar during the flag off ceremony of “Operation ‘Bekan Mmon two” (come to the water), Rear Admiral David Adeniran, stated that with launching of the operation, crimes occurring along the maritime environment would become a thing of the past as the navy personnel drafted for the operation are going to ensure that every criminal element troubling people who travel through the waterways would become a thing of the past.

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Source: leadership.ng