Thursday, February 5, 2009

MV Faina to sail to Mombasa

The MV Faina is preparing to set sail on Friday for the Kenyan port of Mombasa, according to Russian press agency RIA Novosti. It quotes the head of Ukraine's external intelligence service as saying the vessel will be met in Mombasa by Kenya's defence minister and the head of that country's general staff, in order to receive the shipment of weapons currently aboard the Faina. Mykola Malomuzh also said that a U.S. Navy frigate had approached the freighter to help refuel her for the trip south.

Meanwhile, Associated Press reports that American sailors inspected the small boats the pirates used to travel from the Faina to shore, checking to make sure no one tried to take any of the weapons from the freighter's cargo. The report does not say whether the naval personnel allowed the pirates to retain any of their own weapons. A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said the reason for not arresting the Faina's hijackers is due to concerns about the well-being of 147 other mariners still being held captive by other Somali pirates.

Correction: The Voice of America report I mentioned in my last post was slightly incorrect. The Faina was not in the Gulf of Aden, with her pirate captors counting the loot; the vessel was in Haradhere.

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