The Somali Shipping Code has been completed, after years of efforts to make Somalia’s capacity to grow, sustain a blue economy and fight piracy, supported by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
Induction training methods are underway for Somalia’s Maritime Administration staff as part of IMO/UNSOM efforts to boost the Federal Government of Somalia. Through these training methods, Somalia builds a strong basis for future maritime development.
On 6 January 2020, the Indian Navy authorities officially announced that its Navy patrol vessel “INS Sumedha” found and save the life of a wooden dhow vessel’s personnel. Specifically, onboard the traditional vessel “Al-Hamid”, were 13 Indian crewmembers.
According to Iranian officials and the nonprofit Hostage Support Network, Somali pirates released an Iranian fisher after more than four years in captivity. According to John Steed, an HSN negotiator, he was released as the Somali pirates were unsure about whether he would survive.
IMO and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) organized a workshop in Mogadishu, Somalia, from 25 to 27 August 2019, aiming to finalize the much-awaited Somalia Shipping Code with the hope that it will be enacted in parliament.
Kenya has been chosen to chair the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia for two years starting on January 2020. Kenya will now be able to coordinate regional and international efforts to address piracy which remains a danger to the Maritime sector.
On 21 April, suspected pirates seized a fishing dhow off the coast of Somalia, holding 23 people hostage. In a few hours, the European Union’s counter-piracy force EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Atalanta had responded to the attack. Two days later, the incident had ended, with Operation Atalanta detaining five suspects and releasing the 23 hostages.
On 21 April, fishing vessels FV Adria and FV Txori Argi were attacked by suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, 280 NM off the coast of Somalia, EU NAVFOR reported. The piracy attacks were thwarted, and the crew and vessels remained safe, due to the implementation of Best Management Practices protection measures by the Masters, the crews and the private security teams on both fishing vessels.
Somalia is to give offshore blocks to oil companies that are interested, as part of its first offshore licensing round. However, due to maritime territorial dispute between Somalia and Kenya its offshore oil production goals could be risked. Thus, Reuters reported that Kenya ordered its ambassador back home from Somalia, after the Mogadishu government’s decision to auction oil and gas exploration blocks in the Indian Ocean.
A report published by Stable Seas shows how complex issues like illegal fishing, coastal violence, and human trafficking create an insecure maritime environment in Somali waters. Regional conflicts have changed human migration flows, accelerating the smuggling of trafficked persons and arms.
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