Somalia truck bomb targets Mogadishu’s SYL Hotel

A truck bomb has exploded outside a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, killing 22 people in a heavily secured area close to the presidential palace.

A BBC reporter says politicians are among the injured.

The Islamist al-Shabab group, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, says it is behind the attack.

The Somali Youth League (SYL) Hotel is a popular meeting place for government officials and has been targeted by militants before.

A security conference was under way at the hotel on Tuesday morning at the time of the blast.

read more

Saudi Arabia says Houthis will not be allowed to take over Yemen

Conflict is not one Saudi Arabia can afford to lose. 

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Wednesday the Iranian-allied Houthi movement would not be allowed to take over Yemen, as he accused Iran of seeking to sow unrest around the region.

The head of a Houthi-backed ruling council pledged readiness on Monday to resume negotiations on ending Yemen’s war but reserved the right to resist attacks by a Saudi-backed exiled government seeking to unseat it.

To continue reading, please click here.

read more

Libya oil guards say closed two oilfields over payment delays

Petroleum Facilities Guards’ southern brigade had shut the Gulf field and the Al Wafa field.

By Ahmed Elumami

A Libyan armed force controlling some of the country’s southern oilfields has stopped pumping at two of them because the government has not paid the funds needed to maintain security operations, a brigade commander said on Tuesday.

The closures underscore the new Libyan government’s complex task in reviving oil production, which has been battered by strikes, protests and Islamist militant attacks since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 uprising.

read more

NIMASA boss assures stakeholders of safety at ports

Many Nigerian ports still not fully compliant with ISPS Code. 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has assured all vessels calling at Nigerian ports of their security and safety.

This was disclosed by the director-general of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, at the opening ceremony of a 5-day training on International Maritime Organisation (IMO) led International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code Compliance Training for Nigeria held in Lagos yesterday.

The DG said Nigeria as a maritime nation takes the issue of safety and security seriously.

read more

Nightmarish waters ripe for robust solutions

For at least half a century, these piratic groups have been roaming the Sulu Sea and beyond.

BY

It is no secret that the eastern coasts of my home state of Sabah neighboring the Philippines are frequently harassed by self-styled “freedom fighters.” Their avowed goals range from creating a self-governing homeland for the Muslims in the southern Philippines, to declaring outright independence for the same, and even to reviving the now defunct Sulu Sultanate encompassing the southern Philippine islands, as well as Sabah.

read more

Japan backs Kenya bid to protect fishing sector and combat pirates

Kenya’s close 640-kilometre coastline has largely been seen as a playground for illegal fishers and other criminals.

By STELLAR MURUMBA

Kenya’s efforts to fence in its fishery resources and rid its coast of pirates received crucial backing of Japan at the just concluded Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad VI).

Among the Ticad VI quick wins, delegates resolved to co-operate in maritime security “including, piracy, illegal fishing, armed robberies at sea and other maritime crimes.”

read more

Maritime security agency, Navy should closely cooperate

Enhancing ties across the maritime domain to ensure security.

Marguerite Afra Sapiie

The Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) should closely coordinate with other maritime stakeholders, particularly the Indonesian Navy, to maximize law enforcement in Indonesian waters, said Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after meeting with Bakamla chief. Rear Adm. Ari Soedewo, Wiranto stressed that close cooperation between maritime institutions was needed to respond to challenging issues such as illegal fishing, piracy and hostage-taking cases.

read more

Commentary: Here’s how the U.S. Navy will defeat Iran’s speedboats

Recent fast approaches by Iran highlight their swarm techniques. By David Axe

Four times last week, speedboats belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – a sort of government-sanctioned Islamic militia – harassed four American vessels patrolling the Persian Gulf.

The incidents, while tense, ended bloodlessly. Still, they offered a glimpse into the kinds of methods Tehran could employ to potentially devastating effect during a shooting war.

Outgunned by the United States’ much larger and more sophisticated weaponry, Iran’s troops have, for decades, honed so-called “swarm tactics” that could reduce America’s technological advantage.

read more

15 Philippine Soldiers Killed in Clashes With Abu Sayyaf Militants

President Duterte aims to ‘crush’ ASG.

By

MANILA — Fifteen Philippine soldiers have been killed this week and 12 others wounded in mounting clashes with the militant group Abu Sayyaf, the military said on Tuesday, as the government announced plans to deploy thousands more soldiers to the group’s stronghold in the south.

It said a “series of clashes” had begun on Monday, as the troops scoured jungle terrain on the southern island of Jolo in search of rebel fighters and at least 23 hostages, including a Dutch bird-watcher kidnapped in 2012 and a Norwegian abducted last year from a beach resort he helped manage.

read more