Kenyan tanks captured by Somali pirates

In the latest embarrassment for Kenya’s government, 33 newly-ordered tanks have been captured by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Kenya Army soldiers with a US Army instructor. Picture by the US Army.

Kenya Army soldiers with a US Army instructor. Picture by the US Army.

According to the Daily Nation, Somali pirates on Thursday afternoon seized a ship carrying more than 30 military tanks in a dramatic hijacking that sent ripples in the maritime industry.

The BBC reports Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua as confirming that the tanks were heading to Kenya. “The cargo in the ship includes military hardware such as tanks and an assortment of spare parts for use by different branches of the Kenyan military,” he said.

A Russian Navy vessel is heading to the region and the US says it is monitoring developments in the area.

The crisis in Somalia is back in the limelight as Somali pirates hijack dozens of ships, thereby threatening shipping routes in the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, Islamic insurgents have intensified attacks against a US backed government and now control Somalia’s port city of Kismayu. It is feared that renewed fighting will disrupt food supplies to millions of Somalis currently living in camps and ravaged by natural disasters.

Incidentally, most of the pirate gangs are based in the region of Puntland, controlled by militiamen loyal to Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf. Recently, though, pirate activities have spread to the south of the country as violence rages.

Problems in Somalia worsened in December 2006, when the United States decided to overthrow the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC). By mid 2006, the UIC had succeeded in creating a functional government in Somalia for the first time since clan warfare wrecked the country in 1991.

During the short-lived reign of the UIC, piracy in the Indian Ocean almost ceased but with its overthrow, piracy has grown faster than before.

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5 Responses

  1. This is a shame for the kenyan governement. really.

    why did the country hide all these?

  2. what is the us army instructor doing in kenya. That is not Iraq. Maybe he is there to get training in kenya. and what has that picture have to do with the tanks. Just western media propaganda and brainwashing of the american people. Shame on the Western media

    • the US has instructors in a variety of nations across the world form parts of latin america to africa to asia typically at the behest of the host government. although dealing with the government of kenya might seem morally questionable, US instructors teach military tactics and command and control. ironically a properly performing army is less likely to behave improperly. albeit african nations…

  3. what the hell is the yankee coming to there. it seems the americans are all over the world. what the hell are they doing? are they police of the world or do they just want to test their weapons to other people and sell them. SHIT!!!!!

  4. Goverment should take immediate action on it.

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