Somaliland: Government to Solicit Direct Anti-Piracy Funding at Dubai Conference

0
24

Dubai anti-piracy conference to focus on rebuilding Somalia

By: Yusuf M HasanForeign minister Behi

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Somaliland is attending the third annual international counter-piracy conference to take place in the emirate following official invitation from the organizers.

A team led by the minister of foreign affairs Mr. Mohamed Behi Yonis that includes among others the director of the Somaliland National Anti-piracy task force Mr Ahmed Osman are en-route to the Emirates for the conference.

According to a press statement released by the spokesperson of the foreign ministry Ahmed Yusuf Elmi ‘Suudi’ “Minister Behi and his team will join other delegates from vario0us countries at the conference fronted by the European Union and IGAD”Somaliland Coast guards with arrested pirates

While Somaliland did not participate in the 2012 annual conference due to some technicalities the anti-piracy activities of the yet to be recognized country has received international acclaim following successful patrols by the unaided, financial or material, Somaliland coast guard that has ensured that national territorial waters have remained piracy incidence free over the yuears.

At the same the country is host a UN funded piracy prison in Hargeisa that is currently home to a large number of pirate convicts who have been captured and sentenced not only in the country but elsewhere include Seychelles.

Minister Behi is expected to solicit for Somaliland’s direct share of the millions of dollars availed antipiracy activities in the Horn region and more specific to Somalia in humanitarian aid, security assistance and funds.

More than 500 participants, comprising foreign ministers, senior government officials, executives of global maritime sector companies and experts, will attend the conference at Madinat Jumeirah Amphitheatre next week.

Meanwhile a report by Emirates ‘The National’ newspaper the third annual international counter-piracy conference to take place in the emirate will focus on rebuilding the nation of Somalia, according to the organizers.

Unlike the two previous events, this year’s conference will concentrate on building the capacities ofHargeisa Pirate PrisonSomali institutions to develop security and economic growth, said Dr Theodore Karasik, the director of research at the Institute of Near East and Gulf Military Analysis.

“Governments and international organizations will work together to focus on rebuilding institutions and identifying gaps that need to be filled,” he said.

“Institutions such as the justice system, security system, maritime security, of course, and others will have to be focused on.”

In 2011 and last year, the conference achieved many milestones.

An international consensus was reached on the threat of piracy in 2011 and funding was increased to suppress attacks. Governments also mobilised more naval units to patrol hotspots and a direct link between the increased military presence and a decline in piracy was noted.

According to the Combined Maritime Task Force in the Gulf of Aden, the region has experienced a 75 per cent drop in piracy over the past two years.

A senior officer with the UK’s Royal Navy, Commodore Simon Ancona, said: “It is true to say, and it’s very good news indeed, that the piracy problem at the moment is nothing like it was two years ago.

“But this is a slow process to bring the sort of security assurances that are required to stop piracy.”

According to Dr Karasik, there is consensus among tribal factions and political groups in Somalia that rebuilding the country is a priority.

“The clans that supplied the manpower for piracy are all in consensus that they want to engage in legitimate trade and ways of life,” he said.

“The fragmented Somali factions, like Puntland and Jubaland, as well as the self declared republic of Somaliland all share a good ethos to rebuild the region.”

At last year’s conference, the leaders of these factions met in Dubai and signed the Dubai Declaration, which marked the first engagement between the leaders and paved the way for the first political breakthrough in 20 years.

So far the UAE has dedicated more than Dh220 million to Somalia in humanitarian aid, security assistance and funds, Dr Karasik said.

More than 500 participants, comprising foreign ministers, senior government officials, executives of global maritime sector companies and experts, will attend the conference at Madinat Jumeirah Amphitheatre next week.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here