Monday, October 27, 2008
The Ukranian ship carrying military tanks which pirates hijacked three weeks ago is running out of fuel and food for hostages. The Russia Today quoted Ukrainian government authorities saying the pirates had vowed to block the vital supplies to the MV Faina and threatened to blow it up if they are not paid a $8 million (Sh600 million) in ransom. “Ukraine’s Human Rights Ombudsman Nina Karpacheva said a tonne of fuel had been delivered to the ship, which will be enough for a few days. However, the pirates have refused to accept other aid,” according to its official website. It further says authorities in Kiev are looking at ways of getting food and water to those on board. It was seized on September 25 in the Indian Ocean. On board are 20 sailors including 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and one Latvian. Kenya has claimed ownership of the 33 T-72 Ukrainian-made tanks and other heavy artillery, but other reports indicate the military cargo was destined for South Sudan through the Mombasa port. The pirates had vowed to blow up the vessel on Monday but extended the deadline.At the same time, French Secretary of State in charge of Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Rama Yade has said that her government is committed to eradicating piracy on the East African coast. “It is time to act. We have been waiting since 1991 and it is not acceptable because of the humanitarian crisis. The upsurge in piracy is threatening Somalia’s stability,” Mrs Yade said. The French minister also revealed that her government had initiated an international policy that will see those who commit atrocities in the region asked to account for their actions. France pushed for a UN Security Council resolution to allow countries with naval ships and military planes to help fight piracy and enter Somalia’s territorial waters. Piracy in Somalia’s vast waters has been linked to the insurgency in the country in which Islamists are fighting to oust the Ethiopian-backed transitional government. On Thursday, the insurgents warned Kenya against interfering in the affairs of Somalia.