UN Security Council Ok’s Land and Air Attacks on Somali Pirates

Mike Schuler
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December 17, 2008

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From the Associated Press:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — On the same day Somali gunmen seized two more ships, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize nations to conduct land and air attacks on pirate bases on the coast of the Horn of Africa country.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was on hand to push through the resolution, one of President George W. Bush’s last major foreign policy initiatives.

Rice said the resolution will have a significant impact, especially since “pirates are adapting to the naval presence in the Gulf of Aden by traveling further” into sea lanes not guarded by warships sent by the U.S. and other countries.

The council authorized nations to use “all necessary measures that are appropriate in Somalia” to stop anyone using Somali territory to plan or carry out piracy in the nearby waters traversed each year by thousands of cargo ships sailing between Asia and the Suez Canal.

That includes the use of Somali airspace, even though the U.S. appeased Indonesia, a council member, by removing direct mention of it, U.S. officials said. READ FULL ARTICLE

This is a major advancment in the fight against pirates off the Somali coast.

In addition, Rice also called on the shipping industry to strengthen the defenses of commercial vessels and urged countries victimized by piracy to detain captured pirates and prosecute them in their own courts. An unwillingness to apprehend and prosecute pirates captured on the high seas has hindered the global response to the threat, Rice said.


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