Tourists under threat on Africa’s east coast

EU counter-piracy mission says Somali pirates can reach Mozambique Channel

The European Union’s counter-piracy mission has warned that Somali pirates are operating south as far as the Mozambique Channel. The claim is not only another blow to Kenya’s tourism industry but also to tourism for Kenya’s neighbours to the south. Foreign ministries are restricting their travel warnings to areas within 150kms of the Somali border with Kenya, following the kidnappings for ransom of a British woman and an elderly French woman. Kenya says that extra police patrols and helicopter surveillance are protecting hotels on the coast.
“Somali pirates operate from the southern Red Sea […] down past Kenya and through the Mozambique Channel,” Commander Harrie Harrison told the British newspaper The Sunday Times. “Distance is not an issue and these criminal gangs are adapting year on year. With the current improving weather after the southwest monsoon, we expect a surge in piracy attacks and consider the whole of the operating area, which is the size of Western Europe, liable to be at risk.”