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A map of the latest reported dhow hijacking off Somalia. Image courtesy UKMTO

A map of the latest reported dhow hijacking off Somalia. Image courtesy UKMTO

Dhow Reported Hijacked Off Somalia

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 7838
December 22, 2023

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) says it has received reports that a dhow has been hijacked by heavily armed personnel off Eyl, Somalia.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

If confirmed, the hijacking would mark the third hijacking of a dhow off the coast of Somalia in the past month. During the height of Somali piracy more than a decade ago, pirates would use dhows as “motherships” to launch attacks against merchant shipping far from shore.

This latest incident comes after the reported hijacking of the M/V Ruen in the Indian Ocean more than 700 miles off Somalia on December 14th. The ship, which is being monitored by European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), has since arrived in Somali waters between Eyl and Xaafun peninsula in Somalia. The exact demands of the hijackers, and their motivations, remain unknown.

If confirmed as Somali piracy, the Ruen incident would be the first successful hijacking of a commercial ship by Somali pirates since 2017. The incident also comes amid the broader maritime security situation in the Red Sea as Yemen-based Houthi’s target commercial ships in the region in support of Hamas in Gaza. In one instance, five Somali nationals were apprehended after attempting to hijack a commercial tanker in the Gulf of Aden.

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