October 6, 2011

Maharamia 7 wa Somalia wakamatwa.

Seven pirates have been arrested near Kenyan coast during joint military exercises by the navies of Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The arrests were made on Monday night by the navies, according to Tanzanian and South African maritime officials engaged joint exercises proposed by the Presidents of SADC Interop 2011, signed six months ago, which emphasised the need for enhanced security in the Eastern coast of Africa.

South Africa Director of Maritime Welfare, Karl Wieswer told journalists of the arrests in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

“We arrested the pirates on Monday night along the shores of Kenya. Our intention is to ensure safety of the sea,” he said.

In an interview with the Guardian, TPDF Information officer, Col. Kapambala Mgame said the seven pirates were apprehended following attack of the SAM-S-ALL GOOD ship that was carrying out oil exploration around the Mafia Island.

Mgame said the ship operated by Brazilian Petroleum Company Petrobras which was 40km northeast sent out the distress alarm.

“Two other ships namely MOCK and Froshiba also sent out alarm signals. Our soldiers who were in operation picked up the signal and sped to the area,” he said.
He said seven pirates in a small boat had attacked the ship with weapons adding that navy returned fire and managed to subdue and arrest the pirates after a battle that lasted for over 20 minutes.

He said the pirates had 16 sub machineguns and ammunition in their boat.
The incident brings to 18 the total number of pirates arrested in Tanzania following attacks in its Indian Ocean territorial waters.

The government in April ordered the army to escort ships searching for oil and gas off the coast to protect them from Somali pirates, who are suspected of kidnapping expatriate workers on exploration ships for hefty ransoms.

Source: The Guardian.

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