24, April 2017
The commander of the US Africa Command cites fight with Somalia’s piracy during a visit by the Pentagon chief. US Marine General Thomas Waldhauser made the remarks alongside Defense Secretary Jim Mattis during a press conference in Djibouti, a tiny African country at the southern entrance to the Red Sea, which makes it ideal for US military operations in Somalia as well as Yemen.
Waldhauser made the comments amid reports of an increase in piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, considered an international threat since the early 2000s. “The bottom line is there have been a half dozen or so (incidents),” Waldhauser.”We’re not ready to say there is a trend there yet but we’ll continue to watch.”
Two ships have been captured this month and a third rescued by Indian and Chinese forces. The attacks peaked to 237 in 2011 but decreased afterwards. Famine and drought in the region is behind the alleged new rise in the attacks, according to the US Africa Command chief.
Over 20 million people from Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are at risk of death from starvation, according to UN World Food Program. The Pentagon chief said, however, that he did not expect the US forces to respond to piracy rise off the coast of Somalia.