n African Security Review - Enhancing regional maritime cooperation in Africa : the planned end state : feature

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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Maritime affairs involve cooperation to a degree that does not fit in easily with the staunchly defended concepts of sovereignty and jurisdiction. However, issues of maritime governance transcend national, geographical and political boundaries. The best illustration of its transnational nature is the recent hijacking of vessels in the increasingly dangerous waters off the coast of Somalia. The Ukrainian-owned MV , for instance, was hijacked in October 2008 and remained in the hands of the pirates until February 2009. Aboard the ship was a lethal cargo of 33 T72 tanks and an assortment of ammunition destined for the Port of Mombasa in Kenya. Another ship, the MV , was taken by the same pirates in November 2008. The oil supertanker was flying a Saudi Arabian flag and was carrying about two million barrels of crude oil worth US$100 million destined for the United States. The effect of the hijackings was felt not only by the Ukrainian and Saudi owners of the vessels but also the would-be recipients of the ship's cargo in Kenya and the US - and it has repercussions for Somalia as well.

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