Kenya Joins US, EU to Crackdown on Houthi Rebels Threatening Indian Ocean Trade

The United States and the European Union have selected Kenya to join Seychelles in prosecuting maritime suspects in a collaborative effort aimed at combating the growing threat posed by Houthi rebels in Yemen and Somali-based pirates along the Indian Ocean.

“Kenya will play a crucial role in addressing the surge in maritime security threats that jeopardize trade relationships across nations,” said Spanish ambassador to Kenya, Christina Diaz, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

Italian ambassador to Kenya Roberto Natali echoed similar concerns, highlighting the disruptive actions of the Houthi rebels which have led to a re-routing of vessels through longer, more perilous routes.

With the increased attacks on ships operating in the Red Sea and the consequent rise in prices of essential goods, the international community is rallying together to expand operational efforts.

The European Union’s Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, affirmed that the EU Naval Force’s mandate will extend beyond piracy suppression to address broader maritime security challenges, including narcotics and human trafficking.

A joint statement issued by the US and allied nations on January 24, 2024, emphasized the collective effort to counter the Houthi threat while maintaining a strategic approach to safeguard global trade routes and the safety of seafarers worldwide.

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