Indian Ocean HRA
The threat of piracy still exists in the waters of the Southern Red Sea/ Bab el Mandeb, Gulf of Aden including Yemen and the northern Somali coast, Arabian Sea/Gulf of Oman and off the eastern and southern Somali coastline. Although the opportunity for attacks has reduced, Somali pirates continue to possess the motivation and capability to carry out attacks.
Reported incidents HRA 29th March – 4th April
There have been no reported piracy incidents reported in the High Risk Area (HRA) during this reporting period.
It is highly unlikely that international shipping is being directly targeted by combatants in the Yemen conflict, but there remains a risk of misidentification and miscalculation. The situation is fluid and the threats to shipping can change rapidly. Ship operators should carry out detailed risk assessments for each voyage into the area using the latest threat information.
Masters are advised to remain vigilant at all times inside the High-Risk Area (HRA) and follow the guidance and protective measures, as set down in BMP5. In the past, it has been reported that Pirate Attack Groups (PAG) conducted ‘soft approaches’ on merchant ships transiting the HRA. Skiffs have been known to approach vessels in order to probe the reaction of the crew and any possible security teams on-board. If the pirate approach does not elicit a response, the pirates may then proceed with an attack, using additional skiffs. The guidance in BMP5 remains relevant and merchant vessels transiting the High-Risk Area are encouraged to comply with its three fundamentals; register at MSCHOA, report to UKMTO and implement Self Protection Methods.
Representatives of al Houthi movement met with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths in Muscat, Oman on March 31 to discuss the phased withdrawal of al Houthi forces from ports in al Hudaydah governorate in western Yemen. The delegations addressed obstacles to the withdrawals from the Salif and Ras Issa ports, according to al Houthi spokesperson Mohammad Abdul Salam.
The Islamic State in Yemen claimed to attack al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Dhi Kalib al Ala in the Qayfa area of western al Bayda governorate in central Yemen on April 1. The Islamic State claimed to wound or kill ten AQAP militants in the clash.
A spokeswoman from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the return of Somalian refugees from Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp would worsen the humanitarian crisis in some locations in Somalia. Dadaab is the world’s largest refugee camp. The Kenyan government recently informed UNCHR of its intent to close the camp. Kenya has made similar statements in the past.
Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau accused the UN of funding al Shabaab on March 30. Kamau claimed that the UN gives 10 percent of its humanitarian aid to Somalia to al Shabaab in order to gain safe passage for its aid to al Shabaab-controlled areas.