ExxonMobil strikes huge oil reserves in offshore Nigeria

By AFP

US oil and gas group ExxonMobil says it has discovered up to one billion barrels of oil in an offshore field in Nigeria, signalling a boost to the country’s crude reserves.

The company said in a statement on its website on Thursday that the Owowo field had “a potential recoverable resource of between 500 million and one billion barrels of oil.”

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Source: dailymail.co.uk

‘It made me cry. I don’t cry easily’: Inside the mission to free 26 hostages after 5 years in Somalia

Gus Lubin

The pirates were finally ready to make a deal.

After holding 26 sailors from the Naham 3 hostage for nearly five years, the Somali criminals agreed in August to hand them over to charity Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) in exchange for relatively small compensation. As a first step, they sent the photo above, which shows each hostage holding up a specified code word. As a second step, they signed a contract.

“We got a final proof of life to prove that the crew were alive … then we basically issued them a contract,” said John Steed, who heads the Hostage Support Partners program for OBP.

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Duterte announces Malaysia trip, plans to raise piracy

By TRISHA MACAS

Upon his arrival from a three-day official visit in Japan, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced that he would visit Malaysia to “complete his tour”.

In a press conference in Davao City, Duterte said he would raise the issue of piracy in Kuala Lumpur. “After this, I am going to talk to Malaysia. I am going there to complete the tour because those are the countries that really matter to me. Malaysia because of the Malacca Strait because we have this piracy going on every now and then. It puts to shame everybody,” he said.

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Nigerian Navy To Mount Choke Points On Niger Delta Creeks

Nigerian Navy says plans are underway to completely get rid of about 40 creeks in the Niger Delta region before the second quarter of 2017.

The creeks have been identified by the Navy to be navigable and used for criminal elements in Nigeria’s south-south region.

Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, disclosed this on Thursday during an assessment of facility at the Eastern Naval Command in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

He expressed satisfaction with the level of steadfastness of officers of the command.

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EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia starts training of Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy

EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia started training the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy this week.

The EU Naval Operation is the military contribution to the European comprehensive approach that aims at disrupting the business model of human smugglers and traffickers, and saving lives in the Southern Central Mediterranean. To further enhance the Operation’s ability to disrupt the trafficking and smuggling networks, the Foreign Affairs Council decided on 20 June to add two supporting tasks to the mandate, effectively allowing it to contribute to the capacity building and training of the Libyan Navy Coast Guard and Libyan Navy and the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya.

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Philippines: Abu Sayyaf gets $7.3M from 6 month kidnaps

Daesh linked group shifted priorities from abducting foreigners based in Philippines to foreign-flagged tugboat crews

By Hader Glang

A notorious Daesh-linked group based in the Southern Philippines made around 353 million pesos ($7.3 million) from kidnap-for-ransom activities in the first six months of this year.

Police and military reports issued to reporters in Manila on Thursday said that the Abu Sayyaf pocketed the ransoms from January-June after it shifted its priorities from abducting foreigners and businesspeople on the mainland to foreign-flagged tugboats and their crews in local shipping lanes.

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Pirates attack oil tanker near Bab al-Mandab

A major pirate attack on an oil tanker has been reported on Wednesday while it was transiting the Bab al-Mandab Strait en route from Ukraine to India, coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri exclusively confirmed to AlArabiya.net.

The pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade at LNG tanker Melati Satu, Assiri told AlArabiya.net.

The crew of the Tuvalu-registered tanker sent a distress call that was received by a UAE ship and passed it to the Saudi Arabian naval ship Majesty Riyadh.

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Ethiopia withdraws troops in Somalia over ‘lack of support’

Ethiopia has withdrawn troops from Somalia, where they had been battling Islamist militants.

It blames a lack of international support for the move, following the EU’s recent cut in its funding for foreign troops in Somalia.

Ethiopia is a major contributor of soldiers to the Amisom, the African Union mission in the country.

Ethiopia has recently withdrawn from several other bases, which were quickly occupied by al-Shabab militants.

Officials in Somalia’s Bakol region say some residents have already fled the area since the Ethiopian troops left, fearing an imminent of al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda.

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Somalia: ISIS-alligned militants seize ‘first town’ in Puntland

A small faction of ex-Al-Shabab militants pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015.

BY

Fighters aligned with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) took control of a small town in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region Wednesday.

The militants took over the port town of Qandala following a brief battle with local security forces. Qandala lies close to the eastern tip of the Horn of Africa and is around 50 miles east of Bosaso, one of Somalia’s major cities, though it is separated by a mountain range. It also lies across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen, where ISIS has previously claimed attacks.

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Former hostage lauds Naham 3 captain as ‘bravest of men’

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Shen Jui-chang (沈瑞章), who survived four-and-a-half years of captivity at the hands of Somali pirates, on Wednesday praised the captain of the Naham 3 fishing boat, who was killed when the vessel was hijacked in the Indian Ocean, as “the bravest of men, who sacrificed himself for the sake of the crew.”

Shen burst into tears on meeting the son of Captain Chung Hui-teh (鍾徽德) after arriving back home via China. Kneeling down in front of Chung Ming-tsai (鍾明才), who was holding a picture of his father, Shen said he deeply regretted not being able to return home with the captain — not even his ashes.

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