Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, said he was concerned by the seizure of the military supplies on board the Ukrainian ship. They could be used to destabilise the region, and the whole situation on the high seas is a matter of great concern for all of us," he told reporters in New York before a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"We are warning France and others who are thinking of carrying out a rescue that we have the power to reach them wherever they are" said Januna Ali Jama alleged spokesman for the pirates (Al-Shabaab). "
The spike in attacks at sea has coincided with a rise in assaults on land by radical al-Shabaab insurgents, including the capture of Somalia's strategic southern port Kismayu. The United States say al-Shabaab is a terrorist group with close ties to al Qaeda. Experts say some of the businessmen and warlords who command the pirates are also funding the rebels. "The entire Somali coastline is now under control of the Islamists," Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, told Reuters in an interview. "According to our information, the money they make from piracy and ransoms goes to support al-Shabaab activities onshore."
Al-Shabaab in Somalia is Al-Qaeda. The Al-Shabaab official website is hosted in the USA at the Dotster Web Hosting Co; DOTSTER INC 8100 NE Parkway Dr #300 Vancouver, WA 98662, E-Mail: abuse@mailto:dotster.com ..... Complaints email@example.com Phone 1-360-449-5985.
Minister of Defense of Ukraine Yuriy Ekhanurov confirmed that the Ro-Ro Cargo Faina ship (click image to enlarge) was captured by pirates and was carrying 33 T-72 tanks and other ammunition sold by the Ukraine, UNIAN news agency reported the minister as saying. All the ammunition was sold by the state-owned Ukrspets export under an international agreement, he said. (See Ro-Ro Cargo Ships).
Besides the tanks, grenade launchers, tank ammunition and other ammo were on the board of the ship. Armoured personnel carriers and munitions are also believed to be part of the delivery. A total of 21 crewmembers were onboard - 17 Ukrainians, three Russians and one Latvian - when the ship was chased down and boarded by armed men in three launches. The coordinates of the ship are available now. The captain of the ship informed Marine Consultations Center in Greece about the intentions of the pirates. Later information was received by central Marine Coordination Center in Odessa and International Marine Bureau.
The Ro-Ro cargo ship Faina left Oktyabrsk port in Nikolaev for Mombasu port in Kenya. The ship reached Suez channel on 15 September. On 25 September, pirates captured the ship Faina (Ukrainian company, manager of ship Tomax Team Inc) under Belize flag near Somali shore. The staff of the ship includes 17 citizens of Ukraine, 3 from Russian Federation and 1 from Latvia.
The ship is a RO/RO carrier with stern ramp. Originally built in Sweden in 1978 as the Vallmo, it has since been through many hands, many flags and many names, including Matina, Loverval, and Marabou. In 2007 it was sold to Redrick Company, Belize, and became Faina.
The "Faina" ship's stern ramp is unlikely to have needed any particular strengthening to carry T-72's as one of the main characteristics of this tank is its extremely light weight of 41 tonnes. In February of this year, the Kenyan authorities seized a shipment of 20 tanks that had been unloaded in Mombasa and that were reportedly headed for the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement.
FAINA (IMO No: 7419377)FEHMI ULGENER
2008/8/17 15:0748 0
Call Sign : V3EZ2
Gross tonnage : 10931
Type of ship : Ro-Ro Cargo Ship
Year of build : 1978
Flag : Belize