Thursday, November 18, 2010

Security zone set up in fight against piracy

By GITHUA KIHARA [email protected]

Maritime authorities have created a security corridor for ships entering the Port of Mombasa to counter piracy attacks on Kenya’s territorial waters.

Vessels will be required to wait at the four identified co-ordinates, which according to the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) is a corridor of 10 by 20 nautical miles from the Port of Mombasa.

“The area is a security zone within which patrols by the Kenyan Navy have been enhanced to provide security for vessels waiting berthing at the port,” KMA director Ms Nancy Karigithu said.

Fishing boats, skiffs and leisure boats will be required to keep off the corridor, which will help identify any pirate skiff that approaches the corridor.

The creation of the security zone comes less than two weeks after Coast PC Ernest Munyi chaired a meeting attended by Chief of General staff Jeremiah Kianga and other top military officials to discuss the increasing sea attacks. The meeting was also attended by area police chiefs and KMA officials.

Recently, Kenya has recorded an unprecedented number of attacks with fears emerging that there could be a cell operating from Mombasa.

Between 28 September and 16 November, 17 ships have been attacked on the East African coast, the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme co-ordinator, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said.