Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


Somali Pirates Return as Houthis Wage War on Red Sea Shipping


As members of the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group continue their five-month terror campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea, two former Somali pirates told Reuters on Thursday that they have returned to the practice.

The gang members told the news agency that they decided to resume their former trade because of the regional security vacuum that has taken place as a result of the Islamist’s actions.

Regional piracy was thought to have died down more than ten years ago, but as the Yemen based organization continues with their missile and attack-drone deployments, more than 20 hijackings have been attempted by Somalia-based criminal organizations since November.

The European Union's anti-piracy taskforce has described the increase in these incidents near the Horn of Africa as a "significant surge."

Last week, Somali hijackers successfully seized the Bangladeshi-operated MV Abdullah while it was transporting a consignment of coal to the United Arab Emirates. The ship, along with its entire crew of 23 members, was taken hostage and held for ransom.

Indian commandos successfully apprehended 35 pirates on Saturday while also rescuing 17 crew members of the previously seized, Malta-registered bulk carrier, MV Reun. The December theft of the ship was the pirate's first successful seizure since 2017.

The resumption of the banditry in the area’s waterways comes as the United Nations Security Council let lapse a 2022 anti-piracy resolution, due to the local security situation being seen as already remediated.

Although operational safety is an increasing concern for ocean going transport companies, the current encounters are still much lower than their 2011 peak that saw 1,200 sailors taken captive, from 212 interdiction attempts.

The shipping lanes that border Somalia’s coastline host an estimated 20,000 vessels of various cargo types every year, since they constitute the most efficient route between the Asian continent and Europe. The current instability is likely to further increase transport, insurance, and security costs to company owners.

Related Story: Another Ship Reported Hijacked off Somalia Coast

Related Posts