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Indian dhow Al Kausar freed

(B2) The entire crew of the Al Kausar, an Indian dhow captured off the island of Socotra on April 1, is now free. The Indian Ministry of Defense confirmed this in a press release published on April 14. The conditions of the release, however, seem unclear, with the Somali and Indian versions seeming to contradict each other, particularly on the issues of negotiation and the intervention of Somali security forces.

Negotiation (and ransom)…

According to the Indian Ministry of Defence, negotiations began between the owner and the pirates for the safe release of the ship, its cargo and its crew. Based on the results of the negotiations, the dhow with its cargo and two crew members were released on April 11 and the balance, eight crew members were released on April 12. » A process seeming to confirm, implicitly, an agreement with the pirates and the payment of a certain sum of money.

…or release by force

On the Somali side, we rather highlight the action of local forces. Local authorities managed to regain control of the ship and free two crew members during an operation carried out by Somali security forces in the port of Hobyo on Monday. But the pirates managed to escape and reach the coast, taking eight other sailors to a village called Qararrow. “ The eight hostages were released without any fighting. Security forces besieged the pirates, who tried to flee, but three of them were captured said Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, deputy coast guard commander of the Galmudug region. “The rescue operation was a complete success, the hostages are safe and in good health.”

Assistance more than a recovery of strength

Version that is slightly tempered by the Indians who recognize the role of local forces but rather in a framework of general security and localization of pirates rather than a recovery of force. “ Somali security forces provided support and assistance during this operation, with armed guards positioned at Hobyo port while others undertook search operations to locate the crew on shore. »

Escorted in international waters by an Indian ship

The dhow was handed over to Indian authorities by the Mayor of Hobyo at around 16 p.m. on April 13 and escorted by an Indian Navy ship through international waters to its next destination. The soldiers previously carried out a medical check-up for all members of the crew and brought the necessary elements and supplies for the return trip.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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