Somalia: UN Security Council Renews Anti-Piracy Mandate

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Somalilandsun – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has renewed for a year the authorization for international action to fight piracy and armed robbery at sea, off the Coast of Somalia.

Currently, the European Union Naval forces, the US, Chinese, Pakistani, Indian and Russian forces are engaged in patrolling waters off the Coast of Somalia and the around the Gulf region.

The African Union (AU) through Amisom, has a strong 17,000 plus force generated by Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia fighting Al Shabaab militia.

According to a communiqué from the UNSC meeting of Monday, the UN also reiterated its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.

The agreement to fight piracy was first reached in 2008. “Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2125 (2013) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council renewed its call upon States and regional organisations that had the capacity to do so to fight ongoing sea crimes,” the communiqué said.

“This will be by deploying naval vessels, arms and military aircraft, and through seizures and disposition of boats, vessels and weapons used in the commission of those crimes.”

The Council also decided that the arms embargo imposed on Somalia did not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment. Also those lacking on the list include the provision of assistance destined for the sole use of States, international, regional and sub regional organizations taking measures in line with the authorisations.

Somali pirates hijacked 46 ships in 2009 and 47 ships in 2010, according to the EU Naval Force. In 2011, pirates launched a record number of attacks – 176. A report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that there were only 17 pirates attacks in the first nine months of 2013, compared with 99 attacks in the first nine months of 2012. The last seizure of a major vessel was the MT Smyrni taken for ransom in May 2012.

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