High Sea Piracy – A New “MEND”: Gunmen Kill 2 Nigerian Sailors, Kidnap 4 Foreigners off Rivers, Niger Delta

August 4th, 2012

Firstpost– Two Nigerian Navy officers were killed and four foreigners — a Malaysian, an Iranian, a Thai and an Indonesian — were Saturday taken hostage by suspected pirates, Xinhua reported.

The officers were killed in an attack by gunmen on a ship in southeast Rivers state, said navy spokesperson Commodore Kabir Aliyu.

He said the navy has sent warships and helicopters for a rescue mission.

Nigeria is constantly topping global charts for High Sea Piracy, in a revised resurrection of the MEND (Movement For Emancipation of the Niger Delta) terrorists, who held Nigeria under siege for several years, sending oil sales crashing, while campaigning on numerous sabotage, kidnapping and terror and general activities in the Nigeria Delta area of Nigeria.

The Niger Delta Militants, were placated by the government in a massive billion dollar amnesty rehabilitation program. But even though the terms included giving up their arms, many of these militants, some back but unable to integrate in the society, have resorted to armed high sea piracy as their new career.

According to current estimates, 1 in 10 global acts of high sea piracy is from Nigeria, and attributed to the revised or ex- MEND terrorists of the Niger Delta.

Our story on May 25th, 2012;

Alarming Rise in Nigerian-based Piracy: Expanding Range and Activity

Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia have decreased dramatically this year, but the number of incidents off Africa’s west coast is increasing, and piracy is becoming more violent there, the International Maritime Bureau reported Monday.

There were 102 incidents of piracy and armed robbery during the first quarter of 2012, according to the agency, part of the International Chamber of Commerce.

Forty-three of those were attributed to Somali pirates, a decrease from 97 in the first quarter of 2011. Nine vessels were hijacked in the area, a decrease from 16 in the period a year earlier. Pirates took 144 crew members hostage off Somalia during the quarter, according to the report.

The bureau credited international navies, which have staged both reactive and pre-emptive strikes against pirates in the region, for the decrease in piracy off Somalia. It hoped for continued progress.

MSNBC: Report: Alarming rise in piracy off West Africa

“The (European Union) announcement to expand their anti-piracy mission to target pirates ashore is another welcome move that could further threaten the Somali piracy model,” Pottengal Mukundan, director of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, said in a statement.

While progress was made off Africa’s east coast, piracy off Nigeria on Africa’s west coast was growing, the report said.

Nigeria-based pirates were behind 11 attacks in the first quarter, the bureau said. Only 10 pirate attacks were reported off Nigeria all of last year, it said.

“Nigerian piracy is increasing in incidence and extending in range,” Mukundan said in a statement. “At least six of the 11 reported incidents in Nigeria occurred at distances greater than 70 nautical miles from the coast, which suggests that fishing vessels are being used as motherships to attack shipping further afield.”

Two people were killed in the Nigerian pirate attacks, which included two hijackings with 42 crew members taken hostage, the report said.

Pirate attacks also increased off Indonesia during the quarter, the bureau reported, with 18 vessels attacked, up from five a year earlier. Robbery is the main target of those attacks, the bureau said.