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Denmark hands suspected Somali pirates to Kenya for trial

Kenya accepted to try four suspected pirate Kenya accepted Saturday to try four suspected pirates from neighbouring war-torn Somalia captured by a Danish warship in the Indian Ocean, officials said.The four Somalis, who were taken aboard the Danish naval vessel patrolling the pirate-infested waters off the coast of the anarchic Horn of African nation on January 7, arrived by airplane in Kenya's port city Mombasa."We are happy the Kenyan government has agreed to try the suspected pirates on their soil," Danish foreign ministry official Tomas Konigsfeldt said, after the suspects were handed over to Kenyan police.Denmark had previously sought to hand the men to the Seychelles for prosecution under an agreement that allows regional countries to try suspected pirates, but the Indian Ocean island turned down the request."We call upon other countries which signed the agreement to allow suspected pirates tried on their land too," said Konigsfeldt.Kenya has already tried and convicted several Somali pirates. The four are expected to appear in court in Mombasa on Monday.Danish warships are patrolling the seas off Somalia as part of an international anti-piracy force to protect commercial shipping.Two decades of lawlessness have carved up Somalia into mini-fiefdoms ruled by gunmen and militia, encouraging ...

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Suspected pirates jailed in Kenya ask for trials

Eighty-four suspected Somali pirates being held in Kenyan prison Eighty-four suspected Somali pirates being held in a Kenyan prison Tuesday expressed concern with the Kenyan judiciary system and appealed to the international community for deportation.The 84 who are on pre-trial detention in the coastal city of Mombasa said they have languished in the facility for over three years with no sign of justice coming their way.Speaking during an open day at the prison, the accused pirates said the Kenyan government had failed to grant them justice but put them through physical and mental abuse."We want justice to prevail as the Kenya government claims to obey human rights and justice for all," said an accused pirate only identified as Mohamed.Margaret Chuma, the head of the prison, said 16 of the accused pirates had been convicted and were under a rehabilitation program. She urged others to be patient as their cases were being sorted out.The pirates said there was no justice in Kenya and the judiciary systems is not up to task in handling their cases. They want their cases to be taken back to Somalia."The international community and Kenya should deport us and let us get charged in our own country ...

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Kenya’s Somali incursion cuts piracy costs in Indian Ocean

Higher ransom demands lengthen negotiations and the duration seafarers are held hostage Kenya's operation against Al Shabaab in Somalia has helped reduce ransom demands on captured ships as pirates seek to close deals before a battle between the militants and Kenyan forces at Kismayo.Shipping experts said that the amount of ransom demanded by pirates for vessels had dropped by about 50 per cent and could fall further in coming days once "Operation Linda Nchi" (Defend the Country) is completed."Initially, the pirates holding captive the Algerian flagged MV BLIDA were demanding $6 million to release the vessel and her multi-national crew. But a package of $3.5 million was delivered on the vessel and they freed it," said Andrew Mwangura, the Seafarers' Assistant Programmes (SAP) coordinator.It is believed that the militants offer protection to pirates in exchange for cash, arms and logistics in a pirate value chain estimated to be worth between $4.9 billion and $8.3 billion.MV BLIDA with its 27 crew was hijacked on January 1 on her way to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania from Salalah in Oman.The turn of events comes as a relief to shippers who are shouldering the commercial burden of piracy along the gulf of Eden.Maritime sources privy to ...

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No Longer Pirates in Kenya

After the launch of Operation Linda Nchi, there has been a lull in piracy The Kenyan-Somali common waters have, for a long time, been a playground for pirates and Al-Shabaab militants.Lack of a centralised government in Somalia for over two decades had bred anarchy that was easily exploited. But that is no more in most areas.Major Mohamed Aden, commander of one of the Kenyan Navy ships patrolling the waters, says "after the launch of Operation Linda Nchi, there has been a lull in piracy and terrorism activities".Important areas on the coastline captured by the Kenya Navy include Ras Chiamboni, Ras Oddo, Ras Manaraani, Ras Wafole, Ras Aliyoos, Buur Gaabo and Buur Gal.Some of these were major training grounds for Al-Shabaab and critical routes through which they generated revenue.Major Aden says besides the funding they get from friendly governments, the charcoal and fish trade were a major source of funds for Al-Shabaab.In October 2010, 16 ships were hijacked. In the same month this year, none has been reported.Kenya Navy ships patrolling the waters include the KNS Umoja and KNS Shujaa.And they are not leaving anything to chance. Any vessel is closely monitored and the necessary action taken.Maj Aden says they have ...

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Kenya plans to establish special anti-sea crime unit

A special force to stop attacks on ships within her waters Kenya is pushing for the establishment of a special force to stop attacks on ships within her waters.Transport Minister Amos Kimunya said other measures to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships included enhanced patrols and aerial surveillance."The proposals for the establishment of a Coast guard that will further enhance our naval capacity within the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone (sea zone over which a State has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources) are also at an advanced stage," Kimunya said.He said a maritime security zone has been established outside the port of Mombasa for vessels waiting for berths at the port.The minister made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by assistant minister Simon Ogari at the World Maritime Day celebrations at Bandari College at the weekend.Ogari said establishment of the Coast guard was being considered to boost security of Kenyan waters.Kenya Maritime Authority director general Nancy Karigithu said the Coast guard would be in charge of security in Kenyan waters to boost efforts by other agencies such as navy, police and wildlife forces.Mrs Karigithu said no ships were attacked in ...

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Kenya-Pirates are a danger to our national security

A major security lapse It was a joyous homecoming on Tuesday when 43 sailors, all but four Kenyan, landed in Mombasa after a gruelling four months as captives of Somali pirates.They became hostages when their Korean-owned shipping vessel, the Golden Wave, was captured on October 9, last year.The ship and crew were released on February 8 after payment of a reported Sh50 million ransom. Docking in Kenya a week after their release obviously made for emotional reunions, and there were heart-rending stories of the ill-treatment, deprivation, and sheer horror of life in captivity.A key element that we should all pay attention to, however, is the threat to national security posed by Somali pirates as well as the collapse of the Somali state. It is worrying that the Golden Wave was hijacked deep inside Kenyan territorial waters, a mere 10 nautical miles off the Kenyan coast.The freed sailors spoke of their captured ship prowling Kenyan waters in search of other ships to hijack.Their captors seized five other vessels in Kenyan waters during the four months of the terrifying ordeal, and at no time were Kenyan security forces anywhere in the vicinity.The conclusion then is that our security agencies do not have ...

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