Horn of Africa

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African Union Steps Up to Help Drought Victims

Donors conference pledges $356M

(Newser) - An African donors conference set up by the African Union has pledged $356 million to help alleviate the suffering of the 12 million hit by the drought battering the Horn of Africa. The lion’s share of that sum, $300 million, will come from the African Development Bank, with other... More »

Starving Somalia to Get Famine Designation

UN agencies poised to add 'humanitarian catastrophe' label

(Newser) - Drought and food shortages have gotten so bad in southern Somalia that the UN is almost certain to upgrade the situation from a “humanitarian emergency” to a “famine/humanitarian catastrophe,” sources tell the Telegraph . “It’s 99% certain that tomorrow we will have to declare a full... More »

UN Aid Flows at Last to Parched Somalia

Al-Shabab militants allow aid groups in for first time in 2 years

(Newser) - UN aid groups have finally begun delivering supplies to areas controlled by islamist militants in Somalia, as the Horn of Africa faces its worst drought in 60 years, reports the BBC . Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked militant group, banned international aid groups two years ago, but tens of thousands of refugees streaming... More »

Pirates Fail in Attack on US Ship

It's now under escort of USS Bainbridge, with Capt. Phillips

(Newser) - Capt. Richard Phillips' reunion with his crew and family may be delayed a bit because of yet another pirate attack. Somali pirates fired on another US ship today but failed to board it, CNN reports. That ship, the Liberty Sun, is now under the military escort of the USS Bainbridge—... More »

Somali Pirates Strike Again, Seize Tugboat

(Newser) - A little international publicity won't deter Somali pirates. Hijackers seized a tugboat in the Gulf of Aden today, the AP reports. The vessel is Italian-owned—initial reports said American—and at least 10 of its 16 crew members are Italian. The tugboat had been towing two barges off Somalia's... More »

Pirates Want $2M Ransom, Threaten to Kill Captain

(Newser) - Somali pirates holding an American ship captain hostage say they want a $2 million ransom and have threatened to kill him, Reuters and the AP report. The ransom demand followed an escape attempt by Richard Phillips, who attempted to swim for safety early this morning. Reports conflict on what happened... More »

US Navy Arrests 7 Suspected Pirates

(Newser) - The US Navy today let pirates around the Horn of Africa know that there's a new sheriff in town. A Navy vessel arrested seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after they attempted to board a commercial tanker, CNN reports. The arrests are the first by a US-led international... More »

Pirates Cut Saudi Tanker Ransom to $15M

Discount from $25M after biggest maritime hijacking in history

(Newser) - After the biggest hijacking in maritime history, Somali pirates have cut their ransom demand for a Saudi supertanker from $25 million to $15 million, Reuters reports. The Sirius Star, carrying $100 million in oil and 25 international crew members, was nabbed southeast of Kenya and has been moved to 62... More »

Somali Pirates Could Grinch Your Christmas

Shipping companies may eschew Suez Canal for longer routes, meaning delays

(Newser) - Attacks by Somali pirates have major shippers considering changing routes that run through the Suez Canal, Reuters reports, a move would add weeks to the time it takes ships to get to Europe from Asia and the Middle East. “It will really hit home when consumers in the West... More »

UN Boosts Members' Powers to Fight Africa Piracy

Navy vessels can follow hijackers into Somali waters

(Newser) - With piracy a growing problem off the Horn of Africa, the UN will allow its members to combat pirates using “all necessary means,” including chasing them into Somali waters, CNN reports. Somalia’s transitional government supports the move. More than two dozen pirate attacks have been reported in... More »

US Airstrike Kills al-Qaeda Boss in Somalia

Ayro led Iraq-style insurgency; at least 12 others dead

(Newser) - American war planes killed more than a dozen people in a town in the west of Somalia today, including one said to be the leader of that country's branch of al-Qaeda. Reuters reports that the airstrike on a band of Somali insurgents killed Aden Hashi Ayro, whose militants are blamed... More »

US Pursues Hijacked Ship in Somali Waters

Pirates take Japanese cargo vessel loaded with benzene

(Newser) - A US warship is hot on the trail of a Japanese cargo vessel hijacked by pirates off Somalia. USS Porter sank pirate skiffs that had been tied to the Golden Mori when it sent distress signals Sunday. But after the bombardment, authorities learned that the Panamanian-flagged Mori contains benzene, a... More »

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