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Thursday, June 28, 2007

International Maritime Organisation asks Security Council to act on Somalia piracy

Speaking of Somalia, once again the IMO wants somebody to do something about Somali pirates, as set out here:
The world's top maritime body said on Thursday it had asked the U.N. Security Council to help stamp out a growing number of piracy attacks in waters off Somalia.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a U.N. agency based in London, said the alarming rise in attacks in the last few months was putting humanitarian aid shipments at risk as well as maritime commerce.

"The continuing incidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery in waters off the coast of Somalia is of great concern to IMO member states, the IMO secretariat and to me personally," IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos said in a statement.

He said raising the matter at the Security Council should prompt Somalia's transitional federal government to take action.

The IMO said the transitional government may allow foreign navies to pursue the assailants into its territorial waters, which could be key to fighting the problem.
(E1 note: Finally!)

Mitropoulos said that when the IMO last raised the issue of piracy at the United Nations in 2005, attacks and armed robbery off Somalia fell as member states with naval assets and military aircraft operating in the vicinity intervened.
IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan told Reuters four ships and their crews were still being held at locations close to Harardheere and Hobyo.

He said a South Korean merchant ship was rumoured to have been hijacked in the last week, but he was still awaiting confirmation of the attack from the ship owners.

Pirates killed a crew member from a Taiwan-flagged merchant ship earlier this month after owners refused to pay a ransom. Somali pirates normally take cargo instead of a life if their demands are not met. (emphasis added)
Allowing "hot pursuit" would be a huge help in fighting these pirates.

UPDATE: StrategyPage doesn't mention the pirates of Somalia, but they are just another group making a living off DIsaster Relief and sometime a little more. See here.

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