Saturday, October 11, 2008

Somalia: A pu-pu platter of Pirate info from Hawaii

Just checking in, Possums before heading out to the beach for the morning walk. It's another beautiful day in Paradise here. The wedding was beautiful and the Hawaiian ceremony was interesting. We've got the Luau thing under our belt and it was great fun. But, it's back to the Mainland (and reality) on the redeye tonight.
What else has been going on?
The MV Faina remains locked in a standoff between the scurvy dogs and various navy vessels assembled against it. The situation is getting tense with the pirates threatening to blow the whole ship up, crew, weapons and scurvy dogs and all if their demands are not met in three days. Two more ships were attacked and another ship, a Greek chemical tanker has been seized. The Greeks say, 'hold up - the ship, the Axion -or- Action? That's not a Greek ship'. They don't say whose ship it is and given the spaghetti bowl of ship registration procedures, it may take a while to untangle. Of course, knowing the real name of the ship might help.
Meanwhile, the Iranians admit to paying the ransom to release the MV Iran Diyanat. The Diyanat was the ship rumored to be carrying a 'dangerous consignment' that had caused the mysterious deaths of the pirates that seized it...all of which the Iranians deny, deny, deny.
It looks like NATO is getting off it's duff and sending along three ships to patrol the Somalian shipping lanes. However, a joint UN and AU committee is warning Kenya that it has no authority to intervene in the MV Faina action.
Speaking of Kenya, the Kenyan Parliament's probe into the weapons shipment on the MV Faina continues. Port officials have been called in to testify and it's looking like they have been able to establish that similar weapons shipments intended for the Sudan have been imported in the ministry of defense's name. Finally, Andrew Mwangura, the co-ordinator of the Eastern Africa Seafarer's Assistance Program, seized by Kenyan officials for alleged collaboration with the Pirates and marijuana possession, got his 200, 000 shilling ($2700) bail has been posted and he has been freed.
Stay tuned.