chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction

The World Food Programme (WFP) experienced four piracy attacks in 20 months between 2005 and 2007 while delivering humanitarian food aid to thousands of Somalis facing poverty. The fourth attack occurred on 25 February 2007 when Somali pirates hijacked WFP-contracted MV Rozen, a general cargo vessel flagged to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that had just delivered 1,800 metric tonnes of food aid to Somalia.1 After four weeks, the pirates released the crew unharmed after receiving payment of an undisclosed ransom. The hijacking report stated:

The ship departed Berbera [Somaliland] port after discharging 1,800 tons of UN food aid when it was hijacked by Somali pirates armed with automatic weapons. The Somali Coast Guard was informed and intercepted the ship. There was gunfire between the hijackers and the Coast Guard ship. None of the 12-crew members, six Sri Lankan and six Kenyans, were hurt. The Coast Guard could not board the ship due to strong resistance from the hijackers who were heavily armed. The ship was released on 2 April after paying a ransom.2