The cargo ship MV Marzooqah has been boarded by Eritrean forces. The crew members at first thought that they were being attacked by pirates and had sent a distress signal. It was not clear at the beginning who boarded the ship and it was not possible officials of Eritrea to be contacted. Eritrea is considered as one of the most isolated African nations.
It is not available information why the MV Marzooqah has been detained and why is now under the control of the Eritrean forces. The cargo ship is in the list of Egypt coastal traders Dina Shipping &Trading Co. It became clear that the container vessel was sailing to the Eritrean coast and not to the Gulf of Aden, region known for numerous pirate attacks. It is known that the captain of the MV Marzooqah had given information regarding the incident. Regional coast guard reports inform that the 2,196 deadweight tonne container vessel had been boarded by Eritrean forces. At first all were convinced that this incident was a pirate attack.
There are no officially reported Somali pirate attacks for this year in the region. All of the people were concerned that it was the first reported case for the new year. Apparently MV Marzooqah has entered Eritrea waters inadvertently.
For the last year Somali piracy dropped significantly. There were registered 176 cases of pirate attacks in the region in 2011 and 36 in 2012. For 2013 there were recorded only 7 attacks. EU NAVFOR plays important role in the fight against Somali piracy by deploying patrols in the region (Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean). Even all efforts, piracy threat remains.