THE CHAIN LOCKER
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Click image for EU NAVFOR website
European Union forces have finally carried out their threatened action ashore in Somalia, attacking several pirate skiffs and other equipment near Haradheere. There are many reports available, but as usual gCaptain has the best wrapup and some unique interviews with Somali eyewitnesses.

Marine Log gives the plain-vanilla industry view; Lloyd's story goes into more detail and draws out the fear that hostages will be harmed in retaliation, which is the first thing that occurred to me. About 300 seamen are hostage in Somalia - most of them currently being held aboard their ships. 

What's to keep the pirates from holding hostages ashore at their equipment dumps, or - more worryingly - selecting individuals for abuse or killing as a response to attacks? 


Well, nothing, really - so this could be the start of a high-stakes game of chicken in which seamen stand to be hurt. 

On the other hand, taking the longer view, any action that cripples pirate activity would spare future sailors from having to share the fate of those now in captivity. 

This could be the start of larger operations ashore to attack pirate activity at its source - and, if successful, perhaps eliminate the threat. We'll have to wait and see how each side plays the game - and I'm pulling for EU NAVFOR.

Are you in the area - or have talked with someone who is? Please comment and let us know what's going on!