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March 7, 2024 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is extremely concerned about the looming ecological disaster posed to the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden by the sinking of Rubymar off the coast of Yemen.

The Rubymar is loaded with more than 21,000 metric tonnes of ammonium phosphate fertilizer and fuel on board. That’s equivalent to 200tonnes of oil. Leaking fuel could devastate marine life and destroy coral reefs, sea life and jeopardize hundreds of thousands of jobs in the fishing industry as well as cut littoral states off from supplies of food and fuel.

The IGAD region and the entire Red Sea arena would need a very long period of time to address the fallouts of marine pollution. While, the Red Sea ecology would need more than 30 years to recover from the resulting dire consequences of the fuel leakage.

A discharge could also disrupt one of the busiest shipping lanes and affect seamless movement of goods and services through the Red Sea waterway.

IGAD calls upon all the stakeholders to invest in peaceful options to address the looming environmental disaster in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The attacks on ship must cease forthwith.

IGAD remains seized of this matter as it finalises it’s Common Position and Regional Plan of Action in line with the resolutions of the 13th Ordinary Summit and 46th Council of Ministers. The aim is to ensure cohesion and coordination among the member states that will focus on maritime safety and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Download attached Press Release in both English and French below.

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