Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities against ships and seafarers navigating through the strategic Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The call comes in response to increasing maritime threats in these crucial waterways.

The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee adopted a resolution in London condemning these acts as “illegal and unjustifiable,” highlighting their direct threat to the freedom of navigation and the substantial disruptions they cause to regional and global trade.

This resolution marks the first such formal stance by the IMO member states since the seizure of the MV Galaxy Leader cargo ship by the Yemeni Houthi group in November in the Red Sea.

“Since then, around 50 dangerous and destabilizing maritime attacks have occurred, resulting in the loss of several seafarers’ lives, while the 25 crew members of the Galaxy Leader remain hostages,” the agency reported, calling for their “immediate and unconditional release.”

The resolution criticized the Houthis’ actions for endangering lives, impeding vital humanitarian aid deliveries, increasing the cost of such aid, and destabilizing the region. It also emphasized the importance of resolving the crisis through peaceful dialogue and diplomacy.

IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez appealed to governments and relevant organizations to assist affected seafarers and to intensify efforts to resolve the crisis. He highlighted the Red Sea’s significance as one of the world’s busiest maritime routes, especially for oil and fuel shipments.

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