India’s anti-piracy efforts bear fruit at UNSC

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 18:28

United Nations: India has highlighted at
the UN Security Council the problem of hostages being taken by
pirates in the Indian Ocean, as the world body adopted a
resolution seeking specialised international courts, prisons
and new laws to combat Somali pirates.

The UNSC also strongly condemned the practice of
hostage-taking by pirates, a problem the Indian side said the
Council had not considered for long.

The Security Council adopted a resolution yesterday
that called for "a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and
its underlying causes by the international community," while
calling for an immediate release of all hostages.

The resolution said the council "decides to urgently
consider the establishment of specialised Somali courts to try
suspected pirates both in Somalia and in the region, including
an extra-territorial Somali specialised anti-piracy court."

The Indian mission to the UN, said in statement: "So
far the Security Council had not considered the problems of
hostages taken by pirates".

"At India`s initiative, however, the Council has
addressed this issue for the first time in a resolution of the
Security Council," it added.

It has been a matter of serious concern for India that
53 Indian nationals, who were aboard the hijacked ships, are
being held captive by pirates, the Indian statement said.

A Russian drafted resolution, adopted unanimously by
the 15-member-body, called for the immediate release of all
hostages and also called on States to cooperate, as
appropriate, on the issue of hostage taking.

The International Maritime Bureau reported that in
2010 alone, 1,016 sailors of all nationalities were taken
hostage by Somali pirates, of whom 638 continue to remain in
captivity.

The council called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
to prepare recommendations on setting up the courts within two
months.

Last month, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, the Prime
Minister of Somalia, told the Council that piracy could not
been defeated on the high-seas but through helping the coastal
communities develop alternatives means of livelihood.

Mohamed, whose Western-backed transitional federal
government is struggling to wrest control from al-Shabab, a
group linked with al Qaeda, warned that piracy could feed into
terrorist activity.

"It will not surprise us if al Qaeda`s agents in
Somalia start hijacking tankers in the high seas and use them
as deadly weapons as they did in September 2011," he said.

"Why bother with a small plane when you can capture a
tanker."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 18:28

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