European Union and Mauritanian officials met on Tuesday to discuss renewing the fishing agreement and expanding relations. During the meeting, EU officials praised Mauritanian efforts to create stability in the lead-up to presidential elections. Continue reading
Egypt’s Ambassador in Sana’a: Egyptian vessel released 11 days after pirate attack, Youm al-Masri,
Author: Goma3 Hamdallah
قال أشرف عقل، سفير مصر لدى «صنعاء»، إن جهود السفارة المصرية في اليمن تكللت بالنجاح، حيث سمح لمركب الصيد المصري «النجمة الذهبية» بالعودة إلى مصر.
وأضاف «عقل» أن المركب غادر، فجر الإثنين، سواحل محافظة الحديدة، التي أمضى فيها 11 يوما، للحفاظ على أمن وسلامة أفراد طاقمه، نظراً للأجواء المتوترة نتيجة مناهضة الصيادين اليمنيين مراكب الصيد الأجنبية ومنها المصرية.
وناشد السفير المصري مجدداً مراكب الصيد المصرية الامتناع التام عن مخالفة قواعد وقوانين الصيد في الشواطئ اليمنية، مشيراً إلى المخاطر الجسيمة، التي تتعرض لها أطقم المراكب في حالة عدم احترامها تلك القوانين.
كان مركب الصيد «النجمة الذهبية» تعرض، الأسبوع الماضي، خلال قيامه بالصيد بالسواحل اليمنية إلى هجوم من جانب قراصنة يمنيين، وقامت بمطاردتهم القوات البحرية اليمنية، حيث سحبت مركب الصيد إلى أحد الموانئ اليمنية، وتسبب الهجوم الذي تعرض له المركب في إصابة أحد الصيادين المصريين.
Ashraf Akl, Egypt’s Ambassador to “Sana’a“, said that efforts of the Egyptian Embassy in Yemen culminated productively, allowing the Egyptian fishing vessel “Gold Star” to return to Egypt.
Akl added that the vessel left the coast of the Al Hudaydah province on Monday morning after 11 days (in port), to maintain the security of crew members due to tension caused by anti-Yemeni fishermen and foreign and Egyptian fishing vessels (in the region).
The Egyptian Ambassador appealed again that Egyptian fishing vessels fully refrain from violation of fishing rules and regulations on Yemeni Shores, pointing to serious risks that expose other boats in the case of non-compliance.
The attack on the fishing vessel, Gold Star, at last week occurred whilst on a fishing expedition to the Yemeni coast by Yemeni Pirates, who were chased away by the Yemeni Navy, who towed the fishing vessel into a Yemeni port. The cause of attack was the exposure of the vessel, in which one Egyptian fisherman was wounded.
This incident represents the first such incident in the gulf region, other articles report that the pirates robbed the ship taking radar, weapons, gear radar equipment and tonnes of fish. Egypt says a slow response to the attack by the Yemeni coast guard was partly to blame. Considering that the Yemeni coast guard was only created in 2003, I consider their presence, delayed as it may be, to be a positive sign. As far as naval regions go the Gulf is a smaller one and theoretically one that could be policed should the motivation and funding be high enough, although the Somali pirate hype of 2011 showed that in practice this was difficult to accomplish no matter the number of ships, marines and helicopters the EU, Norway, etc. coalition threw at it.
The Yemeni coast is exposed to many different forces that operate in the region. Among the mainstream sea traffic including container ships, tankers and cruise liners there are scattered various smuggling operations ranging from drugs, goods, arms and people. The semi-autonomous region of Puntland in Somalia has been recognized by some commentators as being a key point for some of these activities. Including the people smuggling from Somalia destined to Saudi. January 2013 saw the Coast Guard seize a ship carrying rockets that were destined for it’s shores.
Thrown into the mix are the regular sea-bandits as well as illegal fishing activities that continue to strain intergovernmental ties in the region. The men who robbed the trawler may have been opportunists such as many of the “pirating” activities of 1990s South East Asia, but considering one of the men was shot, something not mentioned in the above article, but on Daily News Egypt, it probably wasn’t.
Whether this will become a trend or not it far too early to tell and the risk is not necessarily any higher than it usually is in those waters considering the activities that have been ongoing for decades.
Apparently four men have been arrested for the incident.
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