Moroccan sailor’s family calls for intervention over kidnap by Nigerian pirates

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The family of a Moroccan merchant navy officer abducted by Nigerin pirates in the Gulf of Guinea issued an appeal to the government to intervene amid silence surrounding the kidnapping of the crew of a Panamanian navy ship, a week ago.

Independent news website Hespress reported on Monday that it has received an appeal letter from the family of one of the two kidnapped Moroccan officers, one a captain and the second an engineer.

In the letter the family demanded that the Moroccan authorities intervene through the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of International Cooperation with the Nigerian authorities to rescue the men and start negotiations with the kidnappers.

In its first reaction the Moroccan government confirmed that it was following the matter, the report said.

It quoted the Moroccan government spokesman, Mustapha al-Khaliji, making a statement in which no new details had been disclosed.

Last week, Moroccan and Nigerian media outlets reported that unidentified pirates had intercepted a vessel carrying the Panamanian flag about 15 nautical miles southwest of the island of Bonny, operating for a Congolese maritime shipping company.

“Two Moroccan merchant navy officers are among the crew of a ship targeted by an act of piracy in Nigerian waters on 31 July,” Casablanca-based, Moroccan privately-owned website Le360 reported on August 2.

Contacted by Le 360, a source from the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces [FAR] confirmed the information, adding that it was indeed civilian sailors and not members of the FAR.

“In recent days, Nigerian pirates have killed 31 people of different nationalities in five similar incidents reported to the country’s authorities,” both websites said in their reports.

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