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Argentina: Actions against UK linked vessels

Information by the North of England P&I Club As a result of the escalation of events between the Argentine and UK governments regarding ownership of the Falkland Islands, the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT) has introduced measures to delay the provision of tug services to vessels arriving or departing from Argentinean ports.We have received the following information from our local correspondents regarding the measures introduced by CATT:The local stevedores union (SOMU), under the umbrella of the Argentine Confederation of Transport Workers (CATT), has announced that it will stall the loading and unloading of British flagged ships, in response to renewed tensions between the UK and Argentina over the ownership of the Falklands. Recently, a bulk carrier, a chemical and a container ship suffered delays of up to 6 hours on both arrival and departure in local ports.Unfortunately, the boycott does not seem to be limited to British flagged ships, with CATT delaying entry of a bulk carrier with a Panamanian flag, a chemical tanker with a Singapore flag (but owned by a Norwegian Owner) and a container ship operated by a Danish owner.According to the head of SOMU, the objective is to force the UK to negotiate with Argentina ...

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Britain funds Seychelles anti-piracy plan

Britain will spend $870,000 Britain said this week it will spend $870,000 to fund an anti-piracy intelligence center in the Seychelles to help with international policing efforts.British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the measure Tuesday in London, saying it will be used to target "pirate kingpins" operating out of Somalia and the Horn of Africa."The establishment of a new intelligence coordination center will allow the international community to target the kingpins of piracy and ensure piracy does not pay," Hague said.The new Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Coordination Center will be used to collect and disseminate intelligence about pirate activity to tactical officers in the Gulf of Aden, then assemble obtained evidence and make it usable in court prosecutions.That way, pirate gang leaders based on land can better be brought to justice, Hague said."For too long, the international community has focused its efforts on the young desperate men who are sent out to sea, without seeking to hold to account those who finance and enable huge pirate operations," he said.The new intelligence center, however, "will ensure that is no longer the case."Also joining to fund its start-up are Interpol as well as the Seychelles and Dutch governments.Hague, speaking before the Thursday ...

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Royal Marines train for Olympic security operation in the heart of London

Security planning for the London Olympics Royal Marines from 539 Assault Squadron (539 ASRM) have been exercising with the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit (MPU) on the River Thames near Woolwich Arsenal Pier as part of Olympic safety and security planning for the London Olympics.Almost one hundred Royal Marines have been honing their tactics, with a variety of marine craft including Offshore Raiding Craft and Landing Craft. During the exercise a Royal Navy Lynx and the Patrol Boat HMS Blazer have been in support.The series of familiarisation exercises taking place are helping to develop the safety and security operation for the River Thames. They have been designed to make sure that everyone has the same level of knowledge about the how the River operates and how the military and MPU tactics work together.Source: Advance

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Pirate threat means more armed guards on UK ships

UK ships are allowed to carry armed teams A number of major UK shipping companies now carry armed teams to combat the threat of Somali pirates, a leading industry security spokesman has said.The prime minister said in October that UK ships could carry armed teams.Gavin Simmonds, defence and security head at the Chamber of Shipping, estimated that 20-30% of UK ships in the high risk area had armed guards.But a security industry spokesman said the process for approving security firms was "not fit for purpose"."There are a number of major UK companies who would not have wanted to have gone against the government's advice and did not change their policy on this until after the prime minister's announcement was made," Mr Simmonds told the BBC News website.But since then they had started the practice of carrying armed guards, he went on, "And I am totally confident that they are being carried in compliance with all the new procedures."He was speaking as the UK prepared to host an international conference on the problems of Somalia on Thursday.However, Peter Cook, director of the Security Association of the Maritime Industry (SAMI), said the circumstances surrounding approval of companies to provide armed teams for ...

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International community targets pirate kingpins

New Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Co-ordination Centre in Seychelles Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that the UK is to provide the Director and fund the construction of the new Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Co-ordination Centre (RAPPICC) based in the Seychelles.The RAPPICC will coordinate and analyse intelligence to inform tactical law enforcement options, including the turning of intelligence into useable evidence for prosecutions both in the region and further afield.Additional action by the International Maritime Organisation and the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia will ensure that shipping travelling through the Gulf of Aden has access to the best and most up to date advice on how to help tackle the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia.These new measures come two days ahead of the London Conference on Somalia, which is bringing together over 50 countries and international organisations to agree a series of practical measures to support Somalia including further measures to tackle piracy and its root causes.Piracy is a symptom as well as a cause of Somalia's lack of stability and it is essential that we continue to build on the success so far in combating it. We know that the problems of piracy ...

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How the London talks can give hope to Somalis

The Somalia London conference must take concrete action in key areas In a few days, there will be a gathering in London, hosted by the British government, to discuss the grim saga of Somalia. For the past two decades, the country has become the poster-child for wretchedness - with a loss of civic solidarity, the destruction of the national state and institutions, an absence of able and legitimate leadership, and violent foreign interventions or mediocre international succour.To date, more than a dozen international conferences have been convened to address this condition. Despite noticeable contributions to assuage some of the calamities, such as the current famine, none of the meetings has amounted to more than contemptuous endorsements of stop-gap political dispensations. These affirmed the worst of an opportunistic Somali lumpen-elite: civic degeneration and a retribalisation of everything in pursuit of personal gain.The test of the London conference is whether it will be more of the same or mark out a different approach. Many Somalis and their friends fear the signals are discouraging: the invited Somali "stakeholders" represent some of the same factions that have been responsible for blocking the resuscitation of a national spirit.If the London meeting ends merely with a ...

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Malta flagged ships caught in UK-Argentina spat

Argentina to include Malta-flagged ships in a port boycott The Argentine Confederation of Transportation Workers (CATT) has resolved to include Malta-flagged ships in a port boycott response to the UK's refusal to negotiate the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands'.The resolution - passed in Buenos Aires - is intended to block British ships from docking in Argentine ports.The measure, they explained, will not affect all British ships but will be carried out "selectively and without notice," and warned it could spread "all over Latin America.""This boycott will continue. It will take British ships six hours to dock and six hours to leave port. We will continue enacting this measure for an unspecified period of time," the head of Maritime Workers, Omar Suárez, said.He said, however, that they would ask for a meeting with Argentine Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman so these actions do not overlap with the ones being carried out by the Government via diplomatic channels."We want to meet with him so we can work together and avoid interfering with what they are doing at the UN," he explained.Suárez then said that the boycott would include British ships "as well as convenient ships," which would include vessels from Malta, Georgia, Jamaica, ...

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UK seeks backing for Somalia action

Britain is pushing for a United Nations resolution to help Somalia Britain is pushing for a United Nations resolution that would help pull Somalia back from the grip of pirates and terrorists.UN Security Council experts are discussing a strategy that would see the African Union force in Somalia extended from 12,000 to about 17,700 troops.A spokesman for the UK mission to the UN said it wanted to "take advantage of what we see as a window of opportunity" to render al-Shabab militants "ineffective as a military force".A draft resolution is expected to be circulated today, with a view to the resolution being adopted on Wednesday, a day before Britain stages a major conference aimed at breaking up the "business model" used by pirates in Somalia.Senior representatives from more than 40 governments and international organisations will attend the London Somali Conference, starting on February 23 and hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which aims to develop a new approach to tackle the threat of piracy.Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the UK's ambassador to the UN, has said the purpose of the conference is to take advantage of the opportunity created by the military pressure on al-Shabab by a combination of the ...

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New Anti-piracy Centre in UK

Dryad Maritime Opens New Anti-piracy Centre in Portsmouth A new state of the art global anti-piracy centre has been unveiled in Portsmouth, helping Shipowners and Charterers to save hundreds of thousands of pounds on Maritime Security. The centre opens one week before senior representatives from around the world arrive in the UK to discuss breaking the piracy business model in Somalia."We expect the threat from piracy to continue and we are investing heavily in infrastructure and technology to give our clients an outsourced operations centre that rivals any naval force. Utilising analysis led Maritime Intelligence can save on average 3-4 days for a vessel in transit with related savings to Charterers and Shipowners on Bunkers, hire and the employment of physical security teams amounting to around $90,000 - $220,000 per transit." ,says Karen Jacques, Chief Operating Officer, Dryad MaritimeHome to some impressive, state of the art technology, the centre is pivotal in monitoring and analysing the movements, assaults and trends of pirate action groups around the world. To seafarers, the centre is a lifeline. It tells them where the pirates are, where they are headed and what they look like. When too close for comfort, the centre warns ships and ...

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