- Alleged Somali pirates have seized a North Korean tanker with its 28 crew members, in waters off Somalia, the EU’s naval forces have reported in a statement.
The statement said MV Theresa VIII, a Singaporean-operated tanker, was taken on Monday in the south Somali Basin, 180 nautical miles north-west of the Seychelles, heading for Mombasa port in Kenya.
The MV Theresa VIII, the owner of which is based in the Virgin Islands, is a tanker of 22,294 deadweight tones.
More than 10 ships and 200 hostages are currently being held by pirates operating in waters off Somalia.
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said the Somali government and the African Union force in the country need more help on land to fight piracy in the waters.
In a report to the Security Council on the situation of piracy and armed robbery in territorial waters and high seas off the coast of Somalia, Mr Ban said one of the ways to ensure the long-term security of international navigation off the coast of Somalia is through a concerted effort to stabilise the situation ashore.
“Pirates have become more sophisticated in their methods and techniques of attacking,” he stated.
He said that the expanding maritime presence by Member States is playing a critical role in stabilising the situation in the Gulf of Aden, calling for an integrated approach that would strengthen the capacities of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on land.
He further emphasised that the approach should include further development of law and security institutions to complement the ongoing peace process in the strife-torn nation, including for the investigation and prosecution of those suspected of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.
Last year, Western nations deployed a flotilla of warships to secure the Gulf of Aden as a surge in piracy threatened a key maritime route. This has since seen the pirates switch to the Indian Ocean.
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