Ukraine says military hardware carried by hijacked Ukrainian ship MV Faina had been officially sold to Kenya (Update 1)
Photo: The seized vessel MV Faina is staying in the port of Hobyo, 500 kilometers northeast of the Somali capital Mogadishu. (Itar-Tass)
Friday, 31 October 2008 (Itar-Tass) report - Faina owner doing utmost to agree on ship and crew’s release - excerpt:
The owner of the Ukrainian ship Faina and an intermediary are doing their best to agree with Somali pirates on the release of the ship and the crew, the ship owner said on Friday.- - -
NATO warships have encircled the Faina. The alliance command said it would not permit to bring the weaponry from the ship to the shore, where Islamic armed units were fighting against the Somali government.
The destination of the weaponry is still in question. Kenya said it had purchased the tanks and other armaments but refused to pay the ransom because the delivery had been incomplete. The Kenyan government said that the owners of the weaponry and the ship must hold negotiations with the assailants. There is also information that the weapons were routed to South Sudan.
Ukrainian First Vice-Premier Alexander Turchinov told a press conference on October 3 that the military hardware carried by the Faina ship had been officially sold to Kenya.
In the face of Somali piracy, all eyes on Kenya army
Photo: The MV Faina. (Reuters/U.S. Navy Handout) Source: Friday, October 31 2008 (www.nation.co.ke)report by Dominic Wabala - In the face of Somali piracy, all eyes on Kenya army - excerpt:
The Department of Defence (DoD) spokesman Bogita Ongeri told the Saturday Nation that because the ship was in international waters, the Kenyan navy was not obliged to rescue it.- - -
“In such an incident where the ship is in international waters, Kenya can only collaborate with other countries who have interests in the area. We are fully involved in the anti-piracy operations in conjunction with other concerned countries but can only act within the law,” Mr Ongeri said.
However, analysts say that if the weapons aboard the MV Faina fell into the hands of insurgents, it could tip the balance of power in the war-wrecked country - and create havoc at the Kenya-Somalia border.
Oct 09, 2008 Sudan Watch: 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.
Oct 02, 2008 Sudan Watch: US warships surround Ukrainian ship hijacked nr Somalia: Cargo for Sudan - Moscow sends warship - Germany joins EU forces - Kenyan official arrested.
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UPDATE - Nov 08, 2008:
GOSS = Government of South Sudan?
Photo: Freight manifest (bill of laden) from the Ukrainian ship MV Faina. Contract numbers on the manifest include the initials GOSS, thought to stand for government of South Sudan. (BBC report October 7, 2008 - Hijacked tanks 'for South Sudan')
See Rob Crilly's African Safari blog post at From The Frontline 8 November 2008 - Britain, Leaks and those Awkward Tanks