Somalia: More Naval Escorts Needed for WFP Food Ships
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) appealed today to naval powers to help protect its ships carrying life-saving assistance from pirate attacks, saying that as many as 2 million Somalis could go hungry without this essential help.
A Dutch frigate is scheduled to finish escort services for WFP on June 25. Since the escort system started last November, no WFP ships have been targeted by pirates, despite an upsurge of piracy in Somali waters — 31 attacks so far this year according to the International Maritime Bureau.
“Without escorts, our whole maritime supply route will be threatened,” said WFP Country, Director Peter Goossens. “Shipping companies are reluctant to sail unescorted to Somalia, and we have no offers to take over from the Royal Netherlands Navy.”
“Millions of Somalis are suffering from a combination of insecurity, drought and high food and fuel prices. If relief shipments slow down, we could face a major catastrophe,” said Goossens, adding that WFP is trying to scale up relief food distributions to avoid a disaster.
Indonesian Warships Off To Location Of Military Exercise
A total of 34 Indonesian warships with more than 13,000 Eastern Fleet personnel on Wednesday started moving toward the location of the joint military exercise in Sangata, East Kalimantan, Antara news agency reported.
Eastern Fleet commander Vice Admiral Lili Supramono is leading the taskforce moving the location of the joint military exercise which has its headquarters on the Indonesian warship KRI Surabaya-591.
Eastern Fleet chief spokesman Lt Col Toni Syaiful said that the 34 warships comprised one reconnaissance submarine, 15 frigates and corvettes, eight landing ship tanks (LSTs) as troops carriers, eight minesweepers, hospital ships, and special landing vessels, he said.
According to the spokesman, the naval forces joining in this year’s joint exercise were the biggest and the most complete since the first joint exercise in 1996.
Russia starts building new missile frigate for Indian Navy
The Yantar Shipyard in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad was slated to launch Wednesday construction of the third Krivak-class frigate for the Indian Navy under a second contract, the company said.
Russia previously built three Krivak-class frigates – INS Talwar, INS Trishul and INS Tabar – for India and delivered them all by the end of 2004.
In July 2006, India and Russia had signed a contract for the purchase of three additional Project 11356 Krivak IV-class guided missile frigates for the Indian Navy.