Tuesday, May 31, 2011

IMO To Build Centre To Defeat Piracy As Bulk Freight Carrier Released

New Initiative to Repress and Deter Hijacks at Sea
Shipping News Feature

DJIBOUTI – SOMALIA – HORN OF AFRICA – Another step forward yesterday in the constant fight to defeat the pirate forces which are proving the scourge of the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean and beyond for freight, fishing and passenger ships alike. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with a view to clearing the way for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to fund the building of a regional training centre in Djibouti, to promote the implementation of the Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the region.

The signing marks the end of a lengthy planning process and building work is expected to commence, on land donated by the Republic of Djibouti, by the end of June 2011 and the MOU was signed by His Excellency Mr Mohamed Moussa Ibrahim Balala, Minister of Equipment and Transport, Republic of Djibouti, and Mr Koji Sekimizu, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO, at the opening ceremony of a high-level meeting, held to formulate a regional coordination process for maritime security training and to endorse the regional training centre.

The training centre will be built using funds donated by Japan to the IMO Trust Fund for the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, which has been signed by 18 countries in the region. After the signing ceremony, the meeting went on to adopt a resolution to establish the mission and objectives of the regional training centre in Djibouti; the coordination process for regional maritime training; and the process for the programming of regional training.

Also over the past few days came news that the bulk carrier MV Khaled Muhieddine K, in pirate hands since the 20th January, had been released with all of her crew of twenty two Syrians and three Egyptians safe according to EU Navfor today. The Togo flagged and Syrian owned vessel had been held for 126 days and there is no news of any ransom being paid at this time.

Photo: MV Khaled Muhieddine K under way.