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First UN Aden aid ship under ESC Global Security armed guard

THE first UN aid ship to arrive in war-torn Yemen for more than four months was under the armed protection of ESC Global Security while it unloaded more than 7,000 tonnes of food and medicine in Aden.

First UN Aden aid ship under ESC Global Security armed guard
12 August 2015 - 21:31
First UN Aden aid ship under ESC Global Security armed guard

THE first UN aid ship to arrive in war-torn Yemen for more than four months was under the armed protection of ESC Global Security while it unloaded more than 7,000 tonnes of food and medicine in Aden.

Estonia's ESC Global Security (ESCGS) was contracted by the shipping agents to protect Singaporean flagged 7,713-dwt Han Zhi, which was chartered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to deliver vital supplies to Yemen. 

The ship docked in the port city of Aden with ESCGS personnel onboard ensuring the safety of the crew and cargo during the offloading and the UN food agency described the arrival as a "major breakthrough" since the internal war in Yemen began in March. 

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP), which chartered the ship, had tried repeatedly in past weeks to deliver aid to the war-torn city but failed because of security concerns.

Early in July a humanitarian ceasefire was declared by the UN, but failed to hold and the World Food Programme recently described the truce as the "final hope" to deliver desperately needed aid. 

With the region just "one step away from famine", according to the UN, ESC Global Security was appointed to protect the ship on the hazardous voyage into Aden.

Jaanus Rahmagi, CEO of ESC Global Security, believes the deployment of armed security was vital to ensure the safe delivery of these vital food supplies and medicines.

"The internal conflict in Yemen and the dangerous conditions for shipping arriving in Aden was the driving factor in ESC Global Security being contracted to protect the ship, said a company statement. 

"We understood the risks, defined the parameters for our armed security operations and put into practice highly trained and experienced personnel to accompany the ship into Aden," said Mr Rahumagi. 

"Each operation is significantly different from others, but we understand the needs of the maritime industry in protecting not only vessels and crew, but also the cargo and dockside operations surrounding such ventures. Our prime concerns are safety and operational integrity. 

"In this case it required confidence and experience which we provided for the ultimate benefit of thousands of desperate people in Yemen," he said.

Established in 1992, ESC Global Security (ESCGS) provides an array of maritime and onshore security services and security personnel serving on the vessels of over 26 flag states and has successfully protected over 1,000 vessel transits in high risk areas. ESCGS is an ISO 28000/28007 certified security company with a primary focus on armed protection of vessels.

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