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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Somali Pirates: U.S. wants UN approval to go after pirates ashore in Somalia

This is important news in the fight against Somali pirates, as U.S. Asking UN to Back Pursuit of Pirates on Somali Territory :
The U.S. is asking the United Nations Security Council to authorize the pursuit of pirates operating off the coast of Somalia onto land, with permission from the nation’s provisional government, diplomats said.

A draft resolution has been given to some member governments on the panel, and a vote may be sought as early as next week, when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to be at UN headquarters in New York, according to Chinese, French and Indonesia envoys.
The draft will face concerns among council members such as Indonesia over concerns that pursuit of pirates onto land might violate provisions of the Law of the Sea. French Deputy Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix said some countries might be “really very nervous” about authorizing landings and military engagements against pirates.

“We want to be sure we are not creating new international law,” Indonesian Ambassador Marty Natalegawa said.
Hmmm. Why would they be concerned about that? Seems like it's a throwback to the old days, when Marines went ashore in Tripoli and the French took out a Barbary pirate fortress...or even the U.S. Navy going after the Malay pirates.

If you are hosting "enemies of all mankind" I would argue that your sovereign rights (such right being suspect in the case of a failed state like Somalia anyway) are waived until the pirates, terrorists or whatever are cleaned up and if you are given the chance to do it yourself and fail, the UN members can offer to "help."

Does the UN community have the right to police a state that cannot police itself? What are the long-term ramifications of such an action?

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