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International Maritime Organization Strives to Resolve Red Sea Crisis

International Maritime Organization Strives to Resolve Red Sea Crisis

International Maritime Organization Strives to Resolve Red Sea Crisis

The head of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Arsenio Dominguez, is leading efforts to tackle the escalating crisis in the Red Sea. In an interview with AFP, Dominguez emphasized the organization’s tireless dedication to finding a solution to the situation, which is wreaking havoc on global trade routes.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, have been launching numerous attacks on ships in the Red Sea since November. Their targets include vessels bound for Israel, a move they claim is in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, embroiled in conflict between Israel and Hamas. Despite retaliatory strikes from the U.S. and U.K., the attacks persist, with recent incidents involving the U.S. ship “Star Nasia” and the U.K. vessel “Morning Tide.”

As the UN agency tasked with ensuring maritime security, the IMO is actively engaged in facilitating dialogue to prevent further escalation. Dominguez, speaking from the IMO’s headquarters in London, stressed the importance of maintaining communication among stakeholders to restore safety to the region’s waters.

The Red Sea is a vital artery for global trade, accounting for approximately 12% of maritime commerce passing through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. However, the ongoing crisis has prompted many shipowners to reroute their vessels around the southern tip of Africa, a costly and inefficient alternative. Dominguez acknowledged that this shift has significant financial implications, including increased transportation expenses, heightened insurance premiums, and greater fuel consumption.

Moreover, the human toll of the crisis cannot be overlooked, with crews enduring prolonged periods at sea due to the altered shipping routes. In response, the IMO is actively working to implement practical measures that enable ships to continue operating safely in the region.

Despite the formidable challenges, Dominguez remains optimistic about achieving a resolution to the conflict. The IMO’s unwavering commitment to finding solutions underscores the organization’s pivotal role in safeguarding global maritime trade and ensuring the safety of seafarers navigating these troubled waters.

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