The crago of the ship seized by pirates includes 33 tanks and surface to air missiles….
NAIROBI (AFP) – Talks aimed at freeing a Ukrainian arms ship held bycollapsed on Friday, a spokesman for the pirates told AFP, deepening the two-week stand off.
This photo provided by the US Navy shows the Belize-flagged Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina in September 2008 off Somalia’s Indian Ocean coast. Talks aimed at freeing a Ukrainian arms ship being held by Somali pirates collapsed on Friday, a spokesman for the pirates told AFP, deepening the two-week stand-off.(AFP/US Navy/File/Jason R. Zalasky)
“The negotiations with the owner of the ship have totally collapsed. The owners are changing their mind from time to time, maybe because they are being advised by somebody that they can resolve the matter militarily,” Sugule Ali told AFP from the ship.
“Given the situation, we are on alert and preparing ourselves for any eventuality, including military against us,” he added.
“Therefore, we have given the ship’s owner three days to respond positively to the negotiations, otherwise we will take some action that we will not reveal now,” Ali added.
The pirates have been demanding 20 million dollars to release the MV Faina and its 21 crew, seized on September 25 while it sailed toward the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, although sources close to the hijackers say the amount may have been reduced after several days of talks.
The exact details of the negotiations remain sketchy, but the pirates have insisted they must be paid before letting go the ship.
Kenya has shrugged off lingering speculation on the identity of the final recipient of the cargo of 33 tanks, surface-to-air systems and other weapons pirates seized on a Ukrainian ship.
Many industry experts and intelligence sources have suggested the arms were bound for South Sudan, and not Kenya as Nairobi and Kiev have repeatedly insisted.