Foreign Missions Express Condolences After Houthi Strike Claims Filipino Lives

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MANILA, Philippines: Foreign missions in the Philippines have expressed their condolences to the country and the families of the two Filipino seafarers who were tragically killed in a Houthi missile strike in the Gulf of Aden on March 6, 2024.

The French Ambassador, Marie Fontanel, strongly condemned the lethal attack by the Houthis on the commercial vessel True Confidence and offered her sincere condolences to the Philippines. In a post on X, she stated, “Houthi attacks on international maritime traffic have reached a new level. They must cease.”

The Japanese Embassy in Manila also stood in solidarity with the Philippines, emphasizing Tokyo’s commitment to working together in advocating for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and lasting peace and stability worldwide. The Ambassador-designate to the Philippines, Kazuya Endo, expressed his condolences to the families of the two Filipino seafarers and praised their commitment abroad. He stated, “Japan is steadfast in partnering with the Philippines to foster lasting peace and stability worldwide.”

The Canadian Ambassador, David Hartman, and the German Ambassador, Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke, also sent their thoughts to the victims’ families in separate posts on X. Ambassador Pfaffernoschke expressed Germany’s sincere condolences and the country’s commitment to working with the Philippines and other partners to achieve a peaceful and enduring solution to this conflict.

According to the US Central Command, the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier M/V True Confidence was hit by a Houthi-launched anti-ship ballistic missile on March 6 while transiting the Gulf of Aden. The vessel was carrying 20 crew members, including 15 Filipinos, when the missile struck, resulting in the tragic loss of three lives and serious injuries to three others.

The Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary, Eduardo Jose de Vega, confirmed that the 13 surviving Filipinos and other crew members were rescued by the Indian Navy and brought to Djibouti.

This missile strike marks the first fatal attack by the Houthis since they began targeting commercial ships in response to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

It is important for foreign missions to extend their condolences and support to the Philippines during this difficult time. The loss of Filipino seafarers highlights the dangers faced by those working in the maritime industry and the need for enhanced security measures to protect seafarers and ensure the safe passage of international maritime traffic.

International cooperation is crucial in advocating for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and promoting lasting peace and stability worldwide. The solidarity shown by France, Japan, Canada, Germany, and other countries is a testament to the importance of standing together in the face of such tragic events.

As investigations into this missile strike continue, it is hoped that the responsible parties will be held accountable and that measures will be taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The safety and security of seafarers and the protection of international maritime traffic should always be a top priority.

Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of the two Filipino seafarers who lost their lives in this tragic incident. May they find strength and support during this difficult time.

Source: The Manila Times

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