Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 19, 2006
Author: P&S


  • Sanctions call in Cote d’Ivoire as rioting spreads

  • Navy sub arrives home in March

  • French navy comes visiting

  • Angolan railway to be rebuilt

  • Flood alerts issued in Mozambique

  • Clipper Race – R&R in Singapore

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    Sanctions call in Cote d’Ivoire as rioting spreads

    France’s army chief of defence staff has called for sanctions to be imposed on riot-stricken Cote d’Ivoire after three days of fighting and anarchy spread across the southern region.

    General Henri Bentegeat said in Paris the time had come for the African Union to agree to long-threatened UN sanctions on the troubled West African country.

    A year ago the UN voted for targeted sanctions but these have so far not been applied.

    United Nations bases in Cote d’Ivoire came under attack by protesters and the Ivorian Popular Front party said it was pulling out of the peace process and demanded the UN and French troops be withdrawn.

    Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest cocoa producer, was effectively split in half several years ago with rebels occupying the north of the country and only a semblance of law and order maintained in the government-held south by way of 10,000 UN and French troops enforcing a buffer zone between the two regions. With the UN and French having come under attack in their barracks in the last few days and giving rise to fears that this may lead to their withdrawal, there is growing concern that the country is sliding into full civil war.

    The port of Abidjan is reported to be open but with reduced activity. Cocoa production has been affected with a number of companies sending their staff home.

    - source IRIN

    SA Navy sub arrives home in March

    The SA Navy’s combat support ship SAS Drakensberg sailed from Cape Town on Tuesday (17 January) en route for Germany to escort the Navy’s first Type 209 submarine, S101, home to the RSA.

    S101 is currently in Kiel preparing for the long voyage home which commences on 13 February. Following a stopover in Rota in Spain between 22 – 25 February the long haul will begin with the estimated time of arrival in South Africa currently being 22 March.

    “The submarine is a major force multiplier and a vital asset to our fleet. We are looking forward to welcoming the submarine and her crew back home where they will work up in local waters before commencing the operational duties that we have planned for them,” said the chief of the Navy, Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu.

    He said that the arrival of S101 would signal the revitalisation of the SA Navy’s submarine service that has been lacking since the withdrawal of the now decommissioned Daphne Class submarines - the last of which was taken out of service in November 2003.

    The highly successful Type 209 submarine, currently in service in 13 navies worldwide, is ideally suited for operations off the RSA coastline.

    “This voyage will not only test the SA Navy’s ability to operate submarines for such long distance deployments, but also our ability to support them away from home base for extended periods,” said Mudimu.

    S101 was launched by struggle veteran Dr Ruth Mompati in Kiel, Germany, on the 15 June 2004. She was handed over to the SA Navy on 20 September 2005 and commissioned under the command of Commander Gary Kretschmer in Kiel on 3 November last year.

    In other navy news the first South African corvette/frigate, SAS Amatola (F145) is expected to be commissioned early this year after which the ship will undertake a visit to South America.

    French Navy comes visiting

    The French Navy fishery protection ship Albatros (P681) will arrive in Durban on Thursday 26 January for a courtesy visit and to give the crew a run ashore.

    FNS Albatros displaces 2,800 tonnes fully loaded and is 85m long with a beam of 6m. The ship is basically a large trawler that was acquired by France for polar fishery patrols. She is powered by diesel-electric engines with a single shaft and propeller to propel her at a speed of 15 knots. Albatros carries a crew of up to 47 with additional berths for 15 passengers. The ship was built in 1967 and extensively refitted for the navy in 1983. She is based at La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

    Current plans intend Albatros to continue in service until 2015 by which time she will be 49 years old.

    Angolan railway to be rebuilt

    According to the Angola Press Agency up to US.2 Billion is to be spent rehabilitating and modernising the Moçamedes Railway, which stretches from the southern Angolan port of Namibe some 856 km to Menongue, more than halfway to the Zambian border.

    The report says that the four year contract will begin in March. The ‘foundation stone’ of the latest railway contract was laid in Lubango last Friday (13 January) by the Angolan minister of transport, André Luis Brandão.

    The Moçamedes Railway is the most southernmost of Angola’s four railways, each independent of the other, and was built in 1905 to serve the local community with never any intention of extending to neighbouring countries. Construction began at the coast and reached Lubango, the principal town of the region in 1923, having been constructed to a narrow gauge of 600mm (2ft gauge). The line was only widened to the more standard Cape gauge of 1067mm (3ft 6ins) during the 1950s when it was also extended to Menongue, with a branch line extending south to the high-grade iron ore mines at Casinga.

    Flood alerts issued in Mozambique

    The heavy rainy weather system that extended across much of the eastern seaboard of southern Africa has resulted in flood alerts being issued in Mozambique for three of the major river systems – Zambezi, Pungue and the Buzi.

    According to Mozambique reports, flooding in the lower Zambezi valley in central Mozambique is tipped to worsen following the necessary discharging of water from the giant Cahora Bassa dam.

    Meanwhile mine clearance along the Sena railway line near the Zambezi has been halted because of the heavy rains.

    Clipper race – R&R in Singapore

    With all yachts now in Singapore Ports & Ships is taking a break from the 2005/06 Round the World Clipper Yacht Race and will resume reporting on its progress once the next leg gets underway on 27 January 2006.

    Westernaustralia.com 41.5 points
    Durban Clipper 33.0
    Liverpool 08 30.5
    New York 30.5
    Victoria 22.5
    Cardiff 22.0
    Qingdao 22.0
    Uniquely Singapore 21.0
    Jersey 15.0
    Glasgow 6.5

    - source and further details of this round the world race can be found at http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk

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