UN maritime agency urges 'immediate end' to attacks on ships in Red Sea

'I call on all governments, relevant organizations to provide maximum assistance to seafarers affected, to spare no effort in finding resolution to this crisis,' says IMO head

15:10 - 25/05/2024 Saturday
File photo
File photo

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) urged Friday an immediate end to attacks on ships and seafarers transiting through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The IMO's Maritime Safety Committee, in a resolution adopted in London, condemned the attacks as "illegal and unjustifiable" that pose a direct threat to the freedom of navigation in one of the world's most critical waterways, while causing major disruptions to regional and global trade.

The UN maritime agency said it is the first resolution to be adopted by IMO member states on the issue since the Yemeni Houthi group seized the MV Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in November.

"Since then, around 50 dangerous and destabilizing maritime attacks have been carried out, costing the lives of several seafarers while the 25 crew members of the Galaxy Leader remain in hostage," it said, adding that the Committee demanded their "immediate and unconditional release."

"The Houthis' reckless actions are putting innocent lives at risk, disrupting the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to those who need it most, increasing the cost of this humanitarian assistance, and destabilizing the region," according to the resolution.

The statement noted that the Committee encouraged peaceful dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the crisis.

"I call on all governments and relevant organizations to provide maximum assistance to seafarers affected, and to spare no effort in finding a resolution to this crisis," said IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez.

The Houthi group has been targeting cargo ships in the Red Sea owned or operated by Israeli companies or transporting goods to and from Israel in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli onslaught since Oct. 7.

The Red Sea is one of the world's most frequently used sea routes for oil and fuel shipments.

#Arsenio Dominguez
#Houthi Group
#International Maritime Organization (IMO)
#Red Sea
25 days ago