Wednesday 19 November 2008

Gulf of Aden, Somalia, Africa: Theft of ships causing diversion of shipping from Suez to Cape of Good hope, by some big shipping groups

(Social Justice South Africa ; c.f. Reuters (Secular) 18/11/08; Reuters (Secular) 17/11/08; Associated Press 18/11/08; Sky News Channel (Secular) 19/11/08; Other Sources (Largely Secular) ??/??/??)

Article by Marc Aupiais

Reuters( 17/11/0818/11/08;) , the London based news Firm, is reporting the effect of the consistent hijacking of ships by pirates in Somalia- currently in a civil war. Unlike other News Services- they have said that there is no major move to the cape route (18/11/08). Ships, however, many carrying "dry cargo" or electronic equipment are being diverted from the quicker route of the Suez Canal, via the Gulf of Aden, having had, or noted of issues with Somalian Pirates: taking rather: the long route from before the Canal was created- around the Cape of Good Hope.

The Cape of Good Hope is located in Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa. Insurance costs of taking Suez are estimated by a source in shipping: quoted by above mentioned Reuters:  to be one probable reason, however major Middle Eastern Oil producing nations have not yet hinted at any diversion, despite the recent hijacking of a Middle Eastern oil carrier. A reason sited by a shipping company withdrawing: is the risk faced, not by companies, but by crews of ships. There is also disappointment in the lack of support from the authorities and governments: in combating the piracy: whether or not this disappointment is warranted will be seen in coming weeks.

The civil war in Somalia between their Warlord president and Islamic rebels, has resulted in the government controlling less than half of Somalia's territory, with Rebels now controlling what seems an ever-growing amount of ground. When two Catholic religious were captured as hostages in a raid, by terrorists in nearby northern Kenya, and brought back to Kenya's Neighboring Somalia, the Somalian Government, appears to have had to ask Kenyan help to try resolve the issue.

Reuters, which reported firstly on the diverting of shipping, appears to have done a more extensive analysis: via an interview of a shipping company not quoted as pulling out: one day later, which saw the issue as not a major factor. All sources noted some ships being redirected to avoid the Gulf of Aden.

The extend of the diversion: will be determined by how effective promised efforts by the European Union: to stifle the hijacking of ships in the Gulf of Aden will be.

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