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India arrests 35 Somali pirates as part of operations around Red Sea

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Following 100 days of anti-piracy operations east of the Red Sea, where piracy has reappeared for the first time in almost a decade, the Indian navy turned up 35 Somali pirates to the police in Mumbai on Saturday.

After a hundred days of anti-piracy operations east of the Red Sea, where piracy has reappeared for the first time in almost ten years, the Indian navy turned up 35 Somali pirates to the Mumbai police on Saturday.

Three months after it was taken over off the coast of Somalia, India, the biggest country in the Gulf of Aden and northern Arabian Sea, apprehended the pirates from the cargo ship Ruen last week.

Pirates have attempted more than 20 hijackings since November, taking advantage of Western forces’ attention being diverted to defending shipping against attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi militants. The development has increased insurance and security costs and created a crisis for international shipping companies.

The Houthis, who declare their support for Palestinians in Gaza in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, have been attacking the area since November, and as a result, shipping via the region has decreased by half as ships are choosing to circumnavigate southern Africa instead, according to the Indian navy.

According to the navy, India has responded to 18 instances by rotating the deployment of 21 ships and 5,000 people, boarding and inspecting more than 1,000 vessels. Several days have seen the deployment of almost a dozen warships due to its unparalleled presence.

“The task is to ensure that there is safety, security and stability” in the region, Kumar said.

“We can live up to the requirement of being a first responder and a preferred security partner… to ensure that the Indian Ocean region is safe, secure and stable.”

Before the Ruen was captured, Somali pirates had not been able to seize control of a cargo ship since 2017. In January, India sent at least a dozen warships east of the Red Sea to fend off pirate attacks and has examined more than 250 vessels.

Musings From Abroad

55 million people facing severe hunger in West and Central Africa— UN

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A food crisis has been made worse by rising prices in West and Central Africa. In the next few months, nearly 55 million people will have trouble feeding themselves, according to a warning from the United Nations relief groups on Friday.

The groups said that the number of people going hungry during the June–August lean season had quadrupled in the last five years. They further claimed that economic problems like double-digit inflation and stagnant local production were major causes of the crisis, along with ongoing battles in the region.

A joint statement from the World Food Program, UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization said that Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Mali are among the countries most severely affected. In the north of these countries, about 2,600 people are expected to die of extreme hunger.

“The time to act is now. We need all partners to step up … to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” said Margot Vandervelden, WFP’s acting regional director for West Africa.

Malnutrition is very high because of a lack of food, according to the agencies. They say that 16.7 million children under five years old are severely malnourished across West and Central Africa.

Food supplies have made things harder, especially for countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone which are already dealing with high inflation.

“To respond to the unprecedented food and nutrition insecurity,” said Robert Guei, the FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa, policies should be put in place to increase and diversify local food production.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia begins diesel exports to Sudan as EU boycott bites

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London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) data shows that Russia has started sending fuel to troubled North African country, Sudan.

The sales begin amid new demand for Russia’s refined goods following a trade boycott against it by the EU over the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Since February 2023 when the EU put a full ban on importing Russian oil products, diesel has been sent to Brazil, Turkey, and countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It has also been loaded from ship to ship.

Data from LSEG shows that two fuel ships, the Pavo Rock and the Conga, brought about 70,000 metric tons of ultra-low sulphur diesel to Sudan after loading it in February at Primorsk in the Baltic Sea. Shipping records show that the goods were unloaded at Port Sudan Al Khair Terminal on April 2 and April 5, respectively.

The Marabella Sun, a ship that was loaded in March at the Russian Baltic port of Vysotsk, is now on its way to Port Sudan and should be unloaded on April 17.

A source quoted by Reuters claims Sudan needs about 45,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 6,000 tons per day, of diesel to meet local demand. However, Sudan’s Petroleum Ministry did not answer a request for comment.

About 60,000 to 70,000 metric tons of diesel are brought into Sudan every month, mostly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the LSEG, about 116,000 metric tons of diesel came into Sudan in March.

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