Updated: Sailor unions split over onboard arms / News / The Foreigner

Updated: Sailor unions split over onboard arms. Two Norwegian organisations are sailing different seas in the continuing discussion over arming ships against Somali pirates. Yesterday’s comments by shipping magnate Jacob Stolt-Nielsen advocating hanging and sinking to stop the Somali pirate business have, not surprisingly, put a cannon ball in the crow’s nest. Deputy Managing Director of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA), Jørgen Vatne, says it distances itself from Mr Stolt-Nielsen’s remarks.

somalipirates, shiphijackings, onboardarms, jacobstolt-nielsen



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Updated: Sailor unions split over onboard arms

Published on Wednesday, 16th February, 2011 at 10:11 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 16th February 2011 at 13:36.

Two Norwegian organisations are sailing different seas in the continuing discussion over arming ships against Somali pirates.

A Somali pirate ship
A Somali pirate ship
Photo: flikr/Wikimedia Commons


‘Barbaric’

Yesterday’s comments by shipping magnate Jacob Stolt-Nielsen advocating hanging and sinking to stop the Somali pirate business have, not surprisingly, put a cannon ball in the crow’s nest.

Deputy Managing Director of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA), Jørgen Vatne, says it distances itself from Mr Stolt-Nielsen’s remarks.

“We cannot meet insurgency with lawlessness. Of course the NSA views piracy as a criminal activity, but will meet it with the legal means,” says Mr Vatne in a press statement.

Jacqueline Smith, head of the Norwegian Seafarers Union (NSU), tells Dagens Næringsliv she finds Mr Stolt-Nielsen’s execution suggestion “barbaric”.

“It’s shocking to hear his views on humanity.”

Hijackings cost companies millions in ransom money and protection each year, and several industry actors are now in favour of equipping vessels with weapons. The issue has divided the NSA and NSU.

“Experience shows having armed guards on board reduces the risk considerably,” the NSA’s Mr Vatne tells NRK.

Ms Smith fears the consequences.

“We believe violence can breed violence. Armament could lead to even stronger efforts by the pirates and this will increase the risk to people onboard,” she says.

‘Unacceptable’

Authorities are taking the problem seriously. Bergens Tidende reports four government ministries are continuing their work looking at the legal implications of introducing arms.

“It is acutely urgent the government clarifies which rules are to apply regarding armament, so that Norwegian ships do not end up as extra attractive targets for the pirates, says Svein Flåthen, the Conservative Party’s (H) political spokesperson for trade and industry.

The Norwegian government is also to use tens of millions of kroner on building jails in Africa, according to VG.

“Even though pirates are caught red-handed, as many as nine out of ten are freed without being convicted. It is unacceptable,” Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Erik Lahnstein, tells VG.

Meanwhile, Jacob Stolt-Nielsen has since said what he expressed were his own views, not those of the company.



Published on Wednesday, 16th February, 2011 at 10:11 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 16th February 2011 at 13:36.

This post has the following tags: somalipirates, shiphijackings, onboardarms, jacobstolt-nielsen.





  
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