1. The US navy destroyer USS Mason was alleged to have been attacked for a third time in the Red Sea on 15 Oct 16. Officials said they were uncertain as to what exactly happened and are ‘assessing the situation’. On 13 Oct 16 ‘the US launched Tomahawk Cruise missile strikes into Yemen targeting radar sites in Houthi-held territory’ .
2. The UN Secretary General’s annual report ‘on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia’ was published on 7 Oct 16. Whilst there have been no successful hijackings of large commercial vessels for over 3 years, ‘piracy activity has increasingly shifted to the hijacking for ransom of dhows and foreign fishing vessels’ the report says, adding that although there has been significant progress in supressing piracy activity against larger vessels, ‘credible reports indicate that Somali pirates possess the intent and capability to resume attacks against large commercial ships, should the opportunity present itself’.
Amongst those seafarers still held in captivity are said to be 5 other Kenyans believed to be held by pirate gangs.
3. On 15 Oct 16 at the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa held in Lomé, Togo, African heads of state adopted the ‘Lomé Charter’. The Charter ‘has the potential to truly boost the protection of Africa’s coasts and seas and to create healthy and sustainable blue economies’.