Saturday, November 12, 2005

Royal Navy to take down Somali pirates?

The Royal Navy (yes, the British fleet) has reportedly announced it will go after the Somali pirates:
The Ministry of Defence told the Sunday Herald that British warships “would undertake action in pursuit of pirates and help deal with the problem”. A spokesman added: “The UK government vigorously opposes acts of piracy.”

The MoD said it could not be any more explicit about action against pirates “due to security concerns”.

Worded a little differently here:

The International Maritime Bureau has made a direct request to the Royal Navy to intervene in east African waters. The Ministry of Defence promised that if there were navy vessels in the area and intelligence of piracy then the Royal Navy “would undertake action in pursuit of pirates and help to deal with the problem”.

Seems to be a change in position from what was reported here:
The International Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has appealed for more naval protection in the area. Although the British frigate HMS Campbeltown is in the Gulf, the Royal Navy is reluctant to commit it to Somali waters. An MoD spokesman said: "We are aware of the piracy issues that have been raised since the Seabourn Spirit was attacked but we have to take a long term view on our resources. Our ships already have vital tasks to perform. We will not tolerate piracy anywhere but it would take longer than a week to make such a strategic decision."

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