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UN Extends Anti-piracy Mission off Somalia Without Somali Consent

The UN Security Council extended on Monday the mandate of an international anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia for another year.



In a report to the Security Council released last Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said international counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden have led to a decline in the number of ship seizures in the region, a statement highly disputed by analysts and contradicted by the given facts.

The European Union last Thursday extended its anti-piracy mandate in the area - Operation Atalanta - until the end of 2010.
On Sunday, Somali pirates hijacked a large Greek-owned oil tanker, believed to be the largest ship seized by the pirates to date.

The UN Security Council on Monday reiterated its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery in the waters off the coast of Somalia.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1897, the 15-member body also expressed concern reports of piracy growth fueled by "escalating ransom payments and the lack of enforcement of the arms embargo."

The council again called on states and regional organizations that "have the capacity to do so, to take part in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia," including by sending their naval vessels.

It urged all states and regional organizations fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia to conclude special agreements or arrangements with countries willing to take custody of pirates.

With the consent of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), such agreements would allow law enforcement officials to act as " shipriders" to carry out the investigation and prosecution of persons detained, according to the resolution.

The council called on all states to cooperate in determining jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia.

The Monitoring Group on Somalia, which was established by the Security Council, has reported that "exorbitant ransom payments have fuelled the growth of (piracy and armed groups) ... including the procurement of arms and equipment and the maintenance of militia establishments in violation of the arms embargo."

"The high rewards for piracy - ransom payments are often in the millions of dollars - and the lack of accountability have also contributed to its rapid growth," said the monitoring mission.
© Ecoterra -


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