Monday, 21 February 2011

Ecoterra Press Release 308 – The Somalia Chronicle January – April 2010, no 1a

Ecoterra Press Release 308 – The Somalia Chronicle January – April 2010, no 1a

Following the Somalia Chronicle June – December 2009 series (published in 120 units), I herewith republish the Ecoterra press releases issued in the period January – April 2010. I reproduce the integral version of all Ecoterra press releases in a recapitulative effort to provide the global readership with the most comprehensive collection of texts published worldwide about the most abominable Western postcolonial involvement in Africa, namely the systematic effort of extermination of the Somali Nation. The vast documentation provided serves as basic point of reference to students, researchers, analysts and intellectuals.


Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor

2010-01-01 * FRI * 19h11:27 UTC
Issue No. 308

A Voice from the Truth- & Justice-Seekers, who sit between all chairs, because they are not part of organized white-collar or no-collar-crime in Somalia or elsewhere, and who neither benefit from global naval militarization, from the illegal fishing and dumping in Somali waters or the piracy of merchant vessels, nor from the booming insurance business or the exorbitant ransom-, risk-management- or security industry, while neither the protection of the sea, the development of fishing communities or the humanitarian assistance to abducted seafarers and their families is receiving the required adequate attention, care and funding.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell

The right to know the truth ought to be universal. Tom Paine warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the "Bastille of words". That time is now."

EA ILLEGAL FISHING AND DUMPING HOTLINE: +254-714-747090 (confidentiality guaranteed) - email: somalia[at]
EA Seafarers Assistance Programme EMERGENCY HELPLINE : SMS to +254-738-497979 or sms/call +254-733-633-733

"The pirates must not be allowed to destroy our dream !"
Cpt. Florent Lemaçon - F/Y Tanit - killed by French commandos - 10. April 2009 / Ras Hafun

(Inscription on the sail of S/Y TANIT - shot down on day one of the French assault)

We have the obligation to fight oppression and cruelty wherever it appears, and believe that anybody who is degrading other people and peoples has to be fought against with whatever appropriate tools people have available.

Happy new year!
An Happt Birthday to all Somalis, who have been "profiled" as born on the 01th of January!

Thanks to all who really helped during the last year to free the seafarers, showed compassion also to innocent Somalis and did not just look for the money or the power.

Getting what you want is not nearly as important as giving what you have. -- Tom Krause

Clearing-House: Cut out the clutter - focus on facts !

(If you find this compilation too large or if you can't grasp the multitude and magnitude of important, inter-related and complex issues influencing the Horn of Africa - you better do not deal with Somalia or other man-made "conflict zones". We try to make it as easy and condensed as necessary.)


New Year Vessel Taken?

Not yet officially confirmed reports from the Gulf of Aden speak of an attack against a merchant ship by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on New Year's day. The commercial vessel has apparently been sea-jacked.

Tanker escaped pirate attack as year closes

On 30.12.2009 in first light at 07h45 (04h45 UTC) Pirates in a skiff chased and fried upon a tanker with an RPG. The incident happened east of Socotra at position 11°42N–063°00E and 800 nm off Somalia.The master sent a distress signal, received advice from the naval centres and could evade the attack. The vessel sustained damages due to the RPG firing. The crew is safe.


Hijacked St. James Park tanker berths on Somali coast: foreign ministry spokesman (FNA)

The hijacked tanker St. James Park has berthed on the Somali coast, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dragovest Goranov told FOCUS News Agency.

The information was received in the past one hour, he added.

"We have no information whether they have talked with a mediating firm. Nor do we have information whether talks for a ransom have started," said Goranov.

He says this type of information is not revealed on purpose in order to conclude the talks more quickly.

No Talks Yet for St James Park Sailors Release (BGN)

According to media reports on 29 December 2009 the ship has been seized in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates while on its way to Thailand from Spain.

No contact has yet been made with the pirates who hijacked the UK chemical tanker St. James Park on Monday, along with 26 crew including 5 Bulgarians, it emerged on January 1.

Varna-based company Zodiac, who hired the 5 Bulgarians, were expecting the negotiations with the pirates to start late on December 31 when the ship docks off the coast of Somalia.

The Bulgarians on board have been identified as Svetozar Tenev, Emil Djankov, Nikolay Kolev, Stefan Angelov, Ivaylo Rusev. Four of the sailors are from Varna, the fifth is from Ruse, Bulgarian National Radio confirmed.

On Thursday, John Harbour, the spokesman for the European Union's anti-piracy force, stated that the negotiations for the release of the hijacked tanker will be difficult because of the number of different nationalities of the crew.

News from sea-jackings, abductions, newly attacked ships as well as seafarers and vessels in distress

Twenty six Russian sailors will see in New Year in pirates' captivity - AND THEY DID (Interfax-Ukraine)

Twenty-six Russian sailors will most likely see in the New Year in Somali pirates' captivity, the online Maritime Bulletin said on Dec. 30.

"Twenty-six Russian sailors are currently being held by Somali pirates, including 23 from the tuna fishing vessel Thai Union 3, and three from the tanker St. James Park," the bulletin said.

The UK-flagged tanker St. James Park was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden on December 29.

According to the Maritime Bulletin's earlier report, the vessel's crew consisted of 26 sailors from various countries, including three Russians.

In was reported on Tuesday that negotiations on the release of the tuna fishing vessel Thai Union 3, which was hijacked by pirates on October 29, were stuck in a deadlock.

The Maritime Bulletin said earlier that the Thai Union 3 had 23 Russian sailors on board.

Ukrainian sailors from freed Delvina ship return home (Interfax-Ukraine)

Seven Ukrainian sailors from the Delvina vessel, which was freed from pirates' captivity on December 17, have arrived from London at Boryspil Airport, the president's press service reported.

The sailors were freed with the assistance of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine and other governmental agencies, foreign partners and the ship owner, the press service said.

On instructions from President Viktor Yuschenko, Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mykola Malomuzh and head of the main service for foreign policy of the presidential secretariat Mykola Tochytsky met the sailors at the airport. The sailors' health condition is satisfactory, according to the secretariat.

Delvina's captain Volodymyr Zakarian said they were grateful to the president and all the agencies and services, which participated in the negotiations on their release.

While talking with the Ukrainian officials, the Delvina sailors inquired about the fate of crewmembers of the Ariana vessel, a ship held by Somali pirates for eight months.

Malomuzh said that the sailors from the Ariana were likely to return to Ukraine in five days. The Ariana vessel might have been freed much earlier, if the ship owner had shown more willingness to cooperate during the first stage of negotiations.

As reported, the Greek dry cargo ship Delvina was seized on November 5 some 450 kilometers off the coast of Tanzania. The ship, operated by Greece's Meadway Shipping & Trading, was carrying a cargo of wheat to the Kenyan port of Mombasa. Its crew is made up of 14 Filipinos and seven Ukrainians.

Somali pirates released the vessel on December 17 after a ransom was paid. The ship then went to Mombasa, where its crew was replaced. The freed sailors were first brought to London, from where the seven Ukrainians left for Kyiv.

UK ship taken by Somali pirates was sailing without naval escort

By Nick Wadhams in Nairobi and Malcolm Moore in Shanghai

A British-flagged chemical tanker is under the control of a Somalian pirate gang after it was hijacked in an audacious raid on a shipping corridor designated as a safe passage for international shipping.

The St James Park had left southern Spain and was bound for Thailand. The ship, which was built in 1993 and carried bulk chemicals, was hijacked in the International Recommended Transit Corridor, a patrol zone through the Gulf of Aden that is patrolled by international naval forces.

The ship was last night said to be heading toward the northern coast of Somalia Zodiac Maritime Agencies, the vessel's London-based agents said that efforts were underway to ensure the safety of the 26 crew, which was drawn from nine East European and Asian nations."There are no reports of any injuries to crew or vessel. The managers of the vessel are working closely with the naval authorities and other organisations to secure the early and safe release of all crew members," a spokesman said. "We have had no direct contact with the ship since it was hijacked."

Noel Choong, of the International Maritime Bureau, said the St James Park sent a distress message late on Monday. Maritime piracy monitors said the signal was sent from the vessel as it moved unescorted through waters off the Somali coast.

"In this case, the St James Park opted to act independently and unfortunately there was no naval ship close enough to offer assistance in time," said Cdr John Harper, spokesman for the EU's anti-piracy flotilla, EU Navfor. "We learnt that she had been hijacked from her owners, Philbox Ltd. An automated SOS distress beacon had been activated."

The costs of Somalian piracy has steadily escalated as pirates proliferate in defiance of the growing naval presence off Somalia.

"Our biggest problem at the moment is the vessels hijacked in the Indian Ocean by the Somali pirates, many many hundreds of miles away from the Somali coast," said Michael Howlett, divisional director of the International Maritime Bureau.

China was yesterday alleged to have paid one of the largest ever delivered to Somali pirates.

The payment was reportedly dropped onto the deck of the De Xin Hai, a Chinese coal carrier seized by pirates near the Seychelles on October 19.

Chinese state media said that the 25 crew members on board had been "rescued" from the Somali pirate stronghold of Hobyo and were under the protection of Chinese naval warships.

"We are very thrilled that the ship is finally free, and we were very impressed by the response of the crew members and their families," said a spokesman for Cosco, which owns the ship.

A Somali man who said he was a pirate said the payment was in cash. "We have been given the ransom money, checked it, counted it and shared it among ourselves," said the man, who gave his name as Ahmed Afweyne.

Somali pirates have been paid more than $100 million in ransom over the last two years and officials gave warning that ransoms were rising..

Commentators said that the largest ransoms ever paid were around $5 million for an oil super tanker. "If [the figure] is true, then it would certainly be at the highest end of the range," said Commander John Harbour, spokesman for the European Union's naval forces off Somalia.

The Chinese Foreign ministry declined to comment on whether a ransom was paid, although it has insisted in the past that China would not pay to release the men.

The De Xin Hai was carrying about 76,000 tons of coal from South Africa to Mundra, in Gujarat, India, when it was seized.

Ecoterra International, a group that monitors shipping [N.B.: actually marine issues] off Somalia, at least 12 foreign vessels and 263 seafarers were being held close to the Horn of Africa.

With the latest captures and releases now still at least 12 seized foreign vessels (13 sea-related hostage cases since yacht SY LYNN RIVAL was abandoned and taken by the British Navy) with a total of not less than 278 crew members (incl. 71 Filipinos and the British sailing couple) are accounted for. The cases are monitored on our actual case-list, while several other cases of ships, which were observed off the coast of Somalia and have been reported or had reportedly disappeared without trace or information, are still being followed too. Over 134 incidences (including attempted attacks, averted attacks and successful sea-jackings) had been recorded for 2008 with 49 fully documented, factual sea-jacking cases for Somalia and the mistaken sinking of one vessel by the Indian naval force. For 2009 the account closed with 227 incidences (incl. averted or abandoned attacks) with 68 vessels seized for different reasons on the Somali/Yemeni captor side as well as at least TWELVE wrongful attacks (incl. one friendly fire incident) on the side of the naval forces. The naval alliances had since August 2008 and until December 2009 apprehended 613 suspected pirates, detained and kept or transferred for prosecution 351, killed 44 and wounded 20 Somalis. (New independent update see:

Not fully documented cases of absconded vessels are not listed in the sea-jack count until clarification. Several other vessels with unclear fate (although not in the actual count), who were reported missing over the last ten years in this area, are still kept on our watch-list, though in some cases it is presumed that they sunk due to bad weather or being unfit to sail - like the S/Y Serenity, MV Indian Ocean Explorer. Piracy incidents usually degrade during the monsoon season in winter and rise gradually by the end of the monsoon season starting from mid February and early April every year.

Present multi-factorial risk assessment code: GoA: ORANGE / IO: RED (Red = Very much likely, high season; Orange = Reduced risk, but very likely, Yellow = significantly reduced risk, but still likely, Blue = possible, Green = unlikely).

Directly piracy, abduction, mariner or naval upsurge related reports --------------------
Another Lost Year for Somalia

The follwing compilation was elaborated at the turn of the year 2208/2009. Now the clock has turned 2010 and nothing, absolutely nothing has improved. With their own agenda the so called international community, which has turned simply into an ever strengthening group of countries and blocks pushing for their short- and mid-term self-interests has completely failed to address what already was demanded since long: Address the root causes of the problems in Somalia and improve the situation for coastal communities, which is the only remedy against further deterioration and increasing piracy!