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Red Sea Crisis

IBF designates Red Sea and Gulf of Aden ‘warlike’

Photo: US CENTCOM X Feed Bulker True Confidence following fatal Houthi missile strike
In a bid to emphasise the seriousness of the Red Sea Situation, The International Bargaining Forum’s (IBF) Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) unanimously agreed to designate the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden ‘Warlike’.

The IBF is a forum comprising the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and international maritime employers that make up the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) including IMEC, the International Mariners Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ), and the Korean Shipowners Association (KSA). 

Its decision was made at a meeting on March 12 following the missile attack on True Confidence by the Houthis, an attack which killed three seafarers.

“Ships transiting the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden are Houthi missile targets, putting seafarers’ lives in grave danger. We strongly urge charterers, operators and shipowners to avoid passage through the area until there is no risk to the safety of seafarers from further attacks,” said IBF.

The body has joined calls for a diversion of vessels to avoid the newly designated warlike area to protect the lives of seafarers.

“The IBF will be asking all employers and union affiliates to lobby their respective governments to intervene and act in the safety of seafarers,” it said.

The decision extends the the previous IBF Warlike Operations Area from 12 nautical miles off the mainland Yemeni Coast to an area covering the previously declared High Risk Area. The zone covers the Southern Section of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, stretching across to the Eritrea coast, encompassing the Bab El Mandeb Strait including the Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) in its entirety within the Gulf of Aden.

“Our first priority is the safety of seafarers,” said IBF.