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Houthi Movement attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea

20 March 2024

Houthi Movement attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea – large companies suspend transport, international Prosperity Guardian mission is established. The Houthi Movement has launched attacks on cargo ships sailing in the Red Sea. Due to this, the world’s largest companies are suspending transport through this water area. These include the British oil company BP, the Belgian EURONAV., the Taiwanese Evergreen and the Chinese OOCL. As a result of the attack, another company that made such a decision is the Danish Maersk. Their ship was damaged by fire and taken out of service. Fortunately, the crew was not hurt. The company called for appropriate and immediate political actions to restore security in the region. Shipowners have developed an alternative route – ships sail around Africa, heading for the Cape of Good Hope to avoid any danger. This results in an extension of the delivery time by approximately 14 days and the price increases even twice. This is a serious threat to international trade, as well as to other sectors of the economy. To resolve this situation, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III initiated the creation of the international Prosperity Guardian mission. Its aim is to ensure security and freedom of navigation for all countries. The following countries joined the coalition: Great Britain, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain. Organizations that advocate for shipping have also expressed concern about the Houthi’s actions and demanded an immediate end to the attacks. Such a statement was issued, among others, by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Secretary General and Director of BIMCO (Baltic and International Shipping Council) David Looslej emphasizes that “These unlawful attacks constitute a flagrant violation of freedom of navigation as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and undermine the rules-based international order on which we so depend.” international shipping.” He points out that approximately 12% of global trade flows through the Suez Canal, which generates 30% of global goods traffic worth over $1 trillion annually. Despite these appeals, the Houthi movement continues its activities. The number of attacks in the Red Sea has increased since Tuesday.


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