Pirates continue to hold hostages onboard La Ponant whilst France and Somalia discuss rescue mission

The French military are continuing to monitor the progress of the besieged charter yacht, La Ponant, as it cruises towards the southern coastal area of Garaad, under the control of Somali pirates.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon has stated that his priority is to protect the lives of the people on board, and to resolve the situation without resorting to using force, although no options have been ruled out.

However, there are reports that shots have already been fired on board in an attempt to bring the hijack to a conclusion, and local Governor Ghelle Yusuf declared he would be “happy … to see the pirates killed.”

In a telephone interview, Gelle said “The French and American ships must attack the pirates. They have our blessing.” He added that the hijackers have been encouraged by ransoms paid in previous ship seizures.

“These pirates are terrorists and there is no need to negotiate with them,” he concluded.