IMO Works Actively To Restore Maritime Safety Amidst Ongoing Red Sea Conflict

Arsenio Dominguez, the Secretary General of the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO), states that the organisation is actively working to resolve the ongoing Red Sea issue. He highlighted the diligence with which the organisation has been working to solve the problem, which has seriously affected worldwide shipping services.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have launched multiple attacks on ships in the Red Sea since November, targeting vessels destined for Israel as a demonstration of solidarity with Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. The recent attacks on the US ship Star Nasia and the British vessel Morning Tide on February 6 demonstrate that the rebels are still launching attacks in reaction to retaliatory strikes by the US and Britain.

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Dominguez, addressing from the IMO’s London headquarters, highlighted the necessity of maintaining conversation among all parties engaged to avoid further escalation and restore maritime safety. The Red Sea region is crucial to world trade, with around 12% of maritime trade travelling via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Even though taking a longer route around the southern tip of Africa comes with higher expenditures, several shipowners have chosen to reroute their vessels due to the increasing risks.

Dominguez recognised the adverse effects of this circumstance, such as growing insurance premiums, higher fuel usage, and longer crew rotational times. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is nevertheless dedicated to offering practical measures to support ongoing marine operations in the area.

Despite the difficulties, Dominguez remains optimistic about resolving the conflict. He emphasised the importance of protecting the right to free navigation and guaranteeing the security of trade and military ships travelling through international waterways.

In the most recent string of operations, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Forces successfully conducted a self-defence strike against Houthis in the Red Sea. On February 10, near Al Hudaydah, CENTCOM forces launched attacks against three mobile anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM) and two unmanned surface vessels (USVs). Similarly, on February 9, from 3 a.m. until 9:40 p.m. (Sanaa time), CENTCOM forces conducted another self-defence strike against one mobile land attack cruise missile (LACM), four mobile Anti-ship cruise missiles and two mobile unmanned surface vessels.

Reference: The Straits Times, FirstPost

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