Nine crew members from Norway vessel have been abducted by pirates while anchored off the coast of the West African country of Benin. The Gulf of Guinea is notorious among maritime regions, plagued by piracy. (Image: illustration).
The sailors on a vessel Bonita owned by the Norwegian shipping company J.J. Ugland have been kidnapped by pirates while anchored 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) off shore from the port city of Cotonou on November 2.
In a statement published in Norway’s Dagens Naeringslivnewspaper on November 3, the company spokesperson said it would not disclose the crew’s nationalities, citing safety reasons.
“The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.
“The families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” the company
The remaining crew members was able to dock at port with its gypsum cargo the same day.
The Gulf of Guinea, which extends from Gabon to Liberia, has been infested by piracy practicing kidnapping in search for ransom.
The European Commission will provide €1.8 million in humanitarian aid to support the ongoing response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The funding brings the total EU response to Ebola so far in 2018 to € 3.43 million. “Since the current Ebola outbreak was declared on 8 May 2018, the EU has immediately supported the efforts of the World Health Organisation and the national authorities to contain the spread of the disease. Previous outbreaks taught us a valuable lesson: we cannot be complacent with Ebola. We cannot let our guard down. This is why today I am strengthening our EU support. This funding will help our humanitarian partners and the authorities to fight and contain the further spread of Ebola,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and EU Ebola Coordinator Christos Stylianides.
The EU aid will support the coordination and logistical operations of the ongoing response, control and prevention of infections, surveillance of exit/entry points of Ebola-affected areas and safe burials. It will also provide general support to primary health centres in the affected areas. The funding is part of overall EU support for the outbreak, which includes the activation of EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, whereby an isolation system was deployed from Norway to transport quarantined patients in need of specialised treatment. The European Commission’s humanitarian air service ECHO Flight is also providing a shuttle service from Kinshasa to transport personnel and medical supplies to the affected areas.
“The members of the Troika (the UK, US and Norway) and the EU are deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. We echo the concerns highlighted recently by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission President Festus Mogae on increased violence, and strongly endorse their call to end all military operations immediately” – says the statement by the Troika and EU on the security situation in South Sudan.
“Opposition attacks on civilians are disrupting lifesaving aid and commercial trade. Large government offensives in Yuai, Waat, Tonga and Kodok have resulted in even more tragic humanitarian consequences, displacing 50,000-100,000 individuals in recent weeks. Government forces continue to target civilians in violation of the law of armed conflict. These actions stand in direct conflict with the Government’s stated aim of a political solution to the conflict, and severely undermine the prospect of any credible national dialogue. The Troika and EU call on President Kiir to implement immediately his commitment to a unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March.”
“We continue to underline that there is no military solution to the conflict. The Government of South Sudan must ensure that there is a meaningful ceasefire which shows a genuine commitment to peace and stability, and is not simply a reflection of the fact that fighting is made more difficult by the rainy season. Such a commitment must go beyond simply a cessation of hostilities, and include withdrawing troops; disbanding ethnic militias; helping, not hindering humanitarian assistance; and releasing political detainees.”