Wed, May 04, 2011
Indonesian military (TNI) spokesman Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said on Tuesday that the military could not immediately rescue 13 Indonesian sailors currently being held captive by pirates off the coast of Kenya.
Iskandar said the Singapore-flagged MT Gemini cargo vessel and 13 Indonesian crew members "are therefore completely dependent on the Singaporean government," he was quoted as saying by tempointeraktif.com.
He added that the TNI was still waiting for confirmation from the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Ministry on whether or not the Singaporean government would ask for Indonesia's help in efforts to release all 25 crewmen onboard the vessel.
MT Gemini was en route to Mombasa, Kenya, from Indonesia, carrying more than 28,000 tons of crude palm oil, when it was hijacked, the ship operator said in a statement on Sunday.
The ship's crew consists of 13 Indonesians, five Chinese, four South Koreans and three Myanmar citizens. Iskandar said the TNI would undertake the appropriate considerations if the Singaporean government asked for cooperative assistance in the rescue mission.
"We will be ready. It is preferable if other countries join [the mission], seeing that there are also citizens of other countries who are being held hostage," he said.
-The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network