The UAE Government are determined to make a stand against piracy following a special forces operation, which took place to recover an oil tanker boarded by pirates on Friday 1st April. The UAE are determined to ensure that any ship carrying the UAE Flag is not targetted by pirates.
Security and legal experts in the United Arab Emirates have said this operation marks a move by the Government to take a defiant stance against piracy. The UAE are close to the waters of the Somali pirates and have had 5 ships hijacked in recent times.
Theodore Karasik, the research director at the Institute for Near Eastern and Gulf Military Analysis in Dubai thinks the Government has decided to make piracy prevention a priority. He said "This is a significant milestone. Ships that are registered in the UAE or contain shipments that are coming from or going to the UAE have been a frequent target and I think the Government has had enough. Intervention is going to depend on who owns what and what it's carrying and how important it is. The point is the UAE is coming up very strongly in terms of counter-piracy operations."
Along with the 5 ships hijacked by pirates that are UAE owned, there have been a further six ships affected from other countries that have been travelling to or from UAE ports in just the past 6 months. The UAE government with all its wealth has decided to make a stand for itself and the world community.
The most recent incident occurred on Friday where the MV Arrilah-I, a 37,000-tonne bulk carrier was hijacked. This was the first government owned ship to be abducted, the other four being owned by private firms. Ten pirates boarded the boat, they had been heavily armed and easily took over the ship.
The UAE government rsponded swiftly. The pirates were captured by UAE counter-terrorism forces which were supported by the UAE Air Force and UAE Air Defence as well as operational support from the US Fifth Fleet.
The 10 pirates captured now face a trial in Abu Dhabi and are expected to be given life sentences. The message "harsh punishment will be given to any pirates, hijacking ships which show the UAE Flag".