UN Reports Seafarers Held Hostage by Pirates


UN report: 5 Kenyans, 39 seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates


The pirate gangs in Somalia are alleged to be holding five Kenyans for ransom.  This report was issued by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday.  The 18-page update consists of a reference to the Kenyan captives.  However, the names of the Kenyan hostages or the circumstances leading to their abduction weren’t released.

In the past year, Dhows and foreign fishing vessels have become the main targets of Somali pirates.  Currently, the Pirates are holding 39 seafarers from foreign-registered vessels as captives, including 26 from an Omani ship, 10 from an Iranian ship and three from a Yemeni vessel.  No seafarers from large commercial ships are currently being held by Somali pirates.

Mr. Ban told the Security Council “More than three years have passed since Somali pirates successfully hijacked and held a large commercial vessel for ransom”.  He further stated that the International naval patrols, along with “progress in building a federal state in Somalia,” have contributed to the reduction in large-scale piracy.

The report also cautions about the threat of attacks on ships in waters off Somalia remains substantial.  It says many local communities in Somalia “view ransom payments for hostages as compensation for what they perceive as fishing revenue lost through illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by such vessels.  The drivers that have triggered piracy remain unchanged since 2005”.

The report concludes that “The lack of economic opportunity has been identified by [Somalia’s] federal government and international partners as the principal driver of pirate recruitment.  It is notable that the criminal networks behind piracy remain undefeated”.

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Source: Daily Nation


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