EU forces dismisses report of Panama-flagged ship hijack in Somalia

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EU forces manning Somalia’s waters said the Panama-flagged ship suspected to have been hijacked by Somalia is safe.

In a statement on Saturday, the mission dismissed reports of hijack of the ship by Somali pirates.

The statement said Aegean II had originally altered its course due to a damaged hull and after local police had boarded it

“There had been certain incidents on board the vessel”, the EU force said in a statement.

The statement said, noting that the ship’s progress was being closely monitored by the ESPS Santa Maria, a Spanish warship operating as part of the naval force.

“At this point, it cannot be classified as a maritime security incident, but a more detailed investigation is in progress,” they said.

Last week, Panama flagged MT “AEGIAN II”, a chemical/oil tanker with armed security guards on board in transit from Shajah (UAE) and bound for Mogadishu (Somalia) was said to had been hijacked by Somali pirates.

Last year, United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2500 renewing the authorization for Somalia anti-piracy measures to December of 2020.

The United States-drafted resolution has decided to renew for 12 months the authorization for states and regional organizations cooperating with Somalia to enter into Somali territorial waters and use all necessary means for the purpose of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

Somali pirates made $7 billion since 2007, and 1,000 individuals have been taken hostage since that time.

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