UN appeals for help with Somalia pirates
The United Nations World Food Program today appealed for high-level global action to stamp out piracy in waters off Somalia, warning that the flow of relief supplies to the country was under severe threat.
The agency said in a statement 'unless action is taken now, not only will our supply lines be cut, but also those of other aid agencies working in various parts of Somalia.'
The appeal followed the killing of a Somali guard who helped repulse a new pirate attack yesterday on a ship that had just delivered WFP food assistance to the Somali port of Merka.
Consequently, the agents of a WFP-contracted vessel this morning refused to allow the ship loaded with food to sail for Somalia.
'We urge key nations to do their utmost to address this plague of piracy, which is now threatening our ability to feed 1 million Somalis,' said the program's Executive Director Josette Sheeran from the agency's Rome headquarters.
'This attack underscores the growing problem of piracy off Somalia which, if unresolved, will sever the main artery of food assistance to the country – and to the people who rely on it for their survival.
Unless action is taken now, not only will our supply lines be cut, but also those of other aid agencies working in various parts of
Somalia,' said Sheeran.
In this latest series of pirate attacks, the Jordanian-registered vessel 'Victoria' sent out a distress call yesterday that it was under attack from pirates aboard boats about 60 nautical miles from Merka, south of Mogadishu, en route to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam after discharging 4,000 metric tons of WFP food.