PortandTerminal.com, March 22, 2020
It is believed that the vessel has a crew of 17 all understood to be Ukrainian nationals. The vessel is believed to have been en-route from Lomé to Port Libreville at the time of boarding.
Attacks on the supply chain must now be met with armed, lethal force
We need to immediately reset our approach in dealing with maritime piracy. Any attack on the security of the global chain at this time of crisis must be met with force – lethal if necessary.
This is not the first time we have said “Enough is Enough” when it comes to dealing with maritime piracy. It is though the first time we are saying it as the world is in the throes of a pandemic.
Merchant seaman are being asked to do their jobs under incredibly difficult conditions. Crew changes are being suspended to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus putting added stress on the men and women keeping cargo moving at sea. They should not need to fear being kidnapped by pirates as well.
Let’s suppose that the vessel that the pirates attacked in this most recent incident was loaded with ventilators and other desperately needed medical supplies. Are governments, insurers and shipping lines still comfortable with accepting piracy in certain regions of the world as a “cost of doing business” as many have seemed to up until now?
French President Macron said recently that “We are at war” as he ordered France into a full lockdown and deployed 100,000 police to enforce it.
Any entity, state-sponsored or not, that threatens our global supply chain is an enemy in the war that we are all collectively fighting. They must be treated as all hostile enemies are treated in wars.
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