Arrr! Somali pirate captain aboard hijacked Ukrainian ship says: "Whoever attacks, we will defend ourselves"
The MV Faina fitted the bill. Slow, low-sided and sailing under a Belize flag, the freighter seemed no different from any of the 60 other ships attacked by pirates this year in the same waters. And Ali and his men had no reason to believe the outcome of this hijacking would be any different.
But the Faina's cargo surprised Ali and his men and sent alarm bells ringing around the world — the unprepossessing freighter was carrying 33 Russian T-72 tanks and a host of other armaments that had originated in Ukraine. By the end of this week, U.S. frigates and a Russian warship were bearing down on the pirates, the European Union had decided to launch a multinational antipiracy patrol, and Ukraine and Kenya found themselves embroiled in an arms scandal.
On Thursday, 02 October 2008, French Defense Minister Herve Morin announced that at least eight European countries had agreed to contribute to an international naval antipiracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, in addition to the U.S. and Russian naval presence already there.
Faced with such overwhelming force, Ali said his men would fight to the last. "If someone attacks you in your home, you need to defend yourself," he said. "Whatever weapons they have, you must fight. A person in his home cannot be afraid. Whoever attacks, we will defend ourselves."
Source: Time report by Alex Perry with reporting by Abdiaziz Hassan Ahmed Dhoore/Nairobi Friday, 03 October 2008 - Arrr! The Somali Pirates and Their Troublesome Treasure
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Sudan Watch Thursday, October 02, 2008 - US warships surround Ukrainian ship hijacked nr Somalia: Cargo for Sudan - Moscow sends warship - Germany joins EU forces - Kenyan official arrested
Sudan Watch Friday, October 03, 2008 - Three killed in pirates' shoot-out aboard Russian arms ship - UK to attack al-Qaeda pirates
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See Sudan Watch Update - Thursday, October 09, 2008 : MV Faina cargo was for Ethiopia? NATO agrees to join anti-piracy operations off coast of Somalia: seven of its frigates will arrive within two weeks