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Piracy Hampers Somalia Relief Efforts

The MV Torgelow is docked at its home port of Mombasa, Kenya, after being held for 53 days by pirates.
Jason Beaubien, NPR
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The MV Torgelow is docked at its home port of Mombasa, Kenya, after being held for 53 days by pirates.

The MV Torgelow returned to her home port in Mombasa, Kenya, last weekend after being held for 53 days by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The cargo ship, which was carrying relief supplies to Somalia, is one of 33 vessels that have reported being attacked by pirates off Somali since March.

The large cargo ship -- half a football field long -- was en route to Somalia to resupply one of its sister ships, the MV Semlow, which had just been released after being held for 101 days by pirates. The Semlow had been carrying relief supplies to Somalia for the U.N. World Food Program.

The relief agency says that with the ships sidelined it has been unable to get food into Somalia by sea for weeks. The WFP resorted to using a truck convoy, which had to pass through dozens of road blocks by various militias.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.