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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Somali Pirates: The UN offers Seven Options

Reported by the AP as UN chief offers anti-piracy options :
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered the Security Council seven options for grappling with the piracy problem, ranging from simple legal support for individual nations to a full international court established by the council, the U.N.'s most powerful body.
An effort instigated by the Russians, no less.

The seven options:
  1. basic support for nations in prosecuting suspected pirates; 
  2. establishment of a Somali court, applying Somali law, in a third state in the region; 
  3. two variants for helping a regional state or states to establish a special court inside its existing judicial system to conduct piracy trials;
  4. a regional court establishment by regional states and the African Union;
  5. an international "hybrid" tribunal with national participation by a state in the region;
  6. a full internatinal tribunal, established by the Security Council.
Number 3 counts as two options, I gather, thus giving a total of 7.

I suppose it might be useful to have an internationally recognized definition of piracy and/or armed assault at sea and some minimal level  of required evidence needed to prove attempted piracy.

Further, there has to be some system in which sworn video evidence of mariners may be used in court so that shipping companies will not be forced to send deck hand or officers from remote corners of the planet to testify against "suspects."

Make it too hard to get the captured pirates to trial and you will just get a continuation of the current situation - a "catch and release" program for misguided Somali youth.  Though some forms of this treatment are more harsh than others - see here.

My own personal option is a blockade of known Somali pirate ports and an announcement of "no warning shots" by the various international naval units in the area if a small boat is found firing on a ship at sea. Aim for the motors on the boat and let the survivors drift home. They better have life jackets and oars.

Of course, this probably violates their human rights.

I have an idea for a low-cost anti-pirate vessel with just the right weapon to take out small boats:

Put a UN flag on it.


  1. Anonymous9:20 AM

    human rights of pirates maybe violated in controlling piracy but how about the rights of the hundred of seamen captured and held by the pirates? the personal option maybe the best option in dealing with this group of barbarics african pirates. a big shit to these ugly african pirates.

  2. Anonymous3:23 PM

    I offer option #8: actually enforce the international law of the sea which mandates summary execution of those convicted of piracy by a captain's mast.
    Method of execution at discretion of the sentencing crew of course.

    Worked wonders in the past, no reason it shouldn't work today (especially with the firepower available to the modern navies).