Somalia: Puntland displays freed hijacked vessel, Sri-Lankan crew
BOSASO, Puntland- The government of Somalia’s northwestern region of Puntland has on Sunday displayed the freed hijacked vessel Aris 13 and the Sri-Lankan crew in Bosaso Port, Garowe Online reports.
Last week, suspected local pirates have hijacked the vessel off the coast of Alula district and held the vessel and crew on board hostage for several days.
However, the region’s marine forces have successfully managed to rescue the vessel and the crew from the pirates following brief clashes between the two sides.
The pirates were reported abandoned the vessel with no conditions after the maritime forces laid a stiff seize around the vessel Aris 13 near Habo coastal village.
Today’s ceremony in Bosaso Port participated by top Puntland government officials including Vice President Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar Amy.
Vice President Amy commended the role of the government and efforts exerted by marine forces to end the crisis peacefully and rescuing the crew and vessel. He also urged the public to support the government to fight piracy that adversely affect the region.
Oil Tanker Aris 13 managed by UAE-based company was reported to be en-route to the capital Mogadishu before being hijacked off the coast of Alula. the vessel was ferrying fuel and goods from Djibouti to Mogadishu.
On the other hand, the suspected pirates who hijacked the vessel claimed previously they were fishermen who their livelihood affected by illegal fishing ships. They were aiming to fight illegal trawlers operating in the coastal water, however, they released the vessel with no demands following brief seizure.
Puntland President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” has previously declared illegal fishing as a natural disaster and reiterated government’s commitment to fight illegal fishing but in the past 3 years his government is accused of involvement in giving permits to fishing trawlers.