Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy!

28.12.08

Categorie: Africa, Axe vs. Pirates, Naval, Piracy |

Two Sundays ago the new European Union naval force deployed to East African waters escorted its first food ship to Somalia from this sweltering port town. The two-day dash by the MV Semlow and the HMS Northumberland marked the beginning of a planned yearlong U.N.-E.U. effort to feed as many as 4 million Somalis. That’s nearly half the country, for those of you counting.

Somalia has depended on U.N. food aid for more than 15 years, ever since the brutal 1991 civil war and a subsequent famine. An unprecedented peacekeeping mission in the early 1990s designed to protect the food distribution effort ended in bloodshed when 18 U.S. troops were killed in a disastrous October 1993 raid, recounted in the book and movie Black Hawk Down.

Today the demand for food is only growing, but without a large military force on the ground to protect distribution. So the U.N. has concentrated its food program on the ports of Merka and Mogadishu, avoiding Somalia’s lawless, bandit-infested roads. Freighters making the run from Mombasa bring in around 12,000 tons of food to these two ports every month.

Things were going swimmingly until pirates began attacking and seizing the food ships. In 2007, the U.N. asked for naval protection. The current E.U. force is the latest chapter in that partnership. No U.N. food ship under naval escort has been successfully attacked by pirates. “We feel secure that the vessel will go safely and come back safely,” said Tariq Farooqi, the caretaker of MV Onega I, the 8,000-ton vessel slated to make the second E.U.-escorted food run Tuesday.

In contrast to the first food run with MV Semlow, this second run will be a true convoy. A second humanitarian ship, hailing from Tanzania, will link up with Onega and her escort, a Greek frigate currently serving as the E.U. flagship, and the three will sail straight into Mogadishu, where a small Ugandan peacekeeping contingent waits to throw up a protective cordon. After unloading, the ships will turn around and backtrack to Mombasa.

The Somalia food circuit is just one facet of the escalating piracy war in East African waters, but it’s easily the most successful. While pirates continue to attack and seize commercial vessels deep in the Indian Ocean, the food ships are safe, as long as the E.U. is riding shotgun. The operation’s success speaks volumes about the viability of World War II-style convoys in today’s piracy war. It’s not for no reason that some Mombasa-based shippers are calling for the various naval contingents to pool their resources, put their heads together and come up with a convoy plan for all shipping in the region.

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9 Responses to “Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy!”

  1. [...] Related: Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight piratesbr> Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  2. [...] Related: Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  3. [...] Related: Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  4. [...] Related: Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  5. [...] Related: Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  6. [...] Related: Esquire.com: Five Pirated Crews who Didn’t Fare as Well as the Americans Pirates Seize Ship with U.S. Crew Wired.co.uk: Beating Somali Pirates at Their Own Game Piracy War Escalates: Korean Seafarer Shot in Attack Video: How the Littoral Combat Ship Will Fight Pirates Offiziere.ch: Pirate Attacks Decline, but for How Long? Proceedings: Defeating Somali Pirates on Land Video: Kennedy Mwale’s Big (Pirate) Adventure Who Watches the (Pirate) Watchers? U.S. Navy Uses “Smart Power” to Fight Pirates Exclusive Video: MV Faina Released by Pirates Coast Guard: Prosecuting Pirates an “Excruciating Process” Skewz: On the Trail of Pirates C-SPAN: Somali Piracy Overview Kenyan navy sits out pirate fight Coasties and Marines join Navy pirate-fighters Inside the Navy’s prison ship Video: pirates hijack help World mobilizes to fight pirates Why robots can’t fight pirates Navy’s new “soft” pirate-fighters Pirate-fighting ship’s big problems Japan, South Korea team up to fight pirates Establishing a Somali coast guard? Coast Guard’s tips for beating pirates U.S. Navy Coordinates Counter-Piracy Fleets Pirates Not Just the Stuff of Legends How Pirates Get Paid Axe vs. Pirates: Convoy! Axe vs. Pirates: “I Fear No One but God.” Chinese Seafarers Kick Pirate Ass Kenyan Navy Fires Rhetorical Broadside against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Everyday Kenyans Suffering Effects of Somali Piracy Axe vs. Pirates: The Kenya Connection Piracy Threatens Somalia Aid Effort Axe vs. Pirates: The Panic Button Axe vs. Pirates: Scared onto Land by Pirate Close Call Somali Piracy Puts Squeeze on Kenyans Mombasa Looks Like This E.U. Deploying Vessel against Pirates Axe vs. Pirates: Welcome to Mombasa No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

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