US announces steps to counter piracyApril 16th, 2009 - 3:46 am ICT by IANS
Washington, April 16 (DPA) The US will seek an immediate international meeting to broaden efforts against piracy off the coast of Somalia, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday.
Clinton said that previous steps to counter piracy have not been enough, pointing to the recent surge of assaults on commercial shipping and hostage taking in the Indian Ocean, including last week’s seizure of an American-flagged vessel.
“These pirates are criminals. They are armed gangs on the sea. And those plotting attacks must be stopped, and those who have carried them out must be brought to justice,” Clinton said.
The United States has already helped established an international contact group on piracy that includes a coalition of navies to patrol the waters near Somalia. But the US military has said the area is too large to effectively patrol and the pirates have become more emboldened, expanding their reach hundreds of kilometres off the
coast of Somalia.
The United States will send an envoy to a meeting in Brussels April 23 designed to help strengthen development, governance and policing in Somalia in order to prevent attacks, Clinton said.
US diplomats will engage Somali officials and regional leaders to explore ways to work together, and will also reach out to shipping companies to contemplate stronger security measures, Clinton said.
“Our envoy will work with other partners to help the Somalis assist us in cracking down on pirate bases and in decreasing incentives for young Somali men to engage in piracy,” she said.
In the last year, more than 60 ships have been seized by pirates demanding a ransom in return for the cargo and crew. The trend gained heightened attention last week when pirates took control of the US-flagged Maersk Alabama. The American crew fought off the pirates, but not before the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken by the
perpetrators onto a life boat.
After a standoff lasting several days, three US Navy SEAL snipers fired three shots from the nearby USS Bainbridge, killing the three pirates and rescuing Phillips.
- Somali pirates release Bulgarian-flagged chemical product tanker after four months - Sep 09, 2010
- U.S. Marines retake hijacked German-owned vessel off the coast of Somalia - Sep 09, 2010
- Another piracy attempt foiled, 16 pirates held - Mar 27, 2011
- 26 sailors rescued from Somali pirates - Jul 18, 2012
- Somali pirates rushing to help comrades in face-off with US Navy - Apr 11, 2009
- India mulls law to battle sea pirates - Mar 12, 2011
- Detained Somali pirate to be tried as adult - Apr 22, 2009
- US Navy steps up pressure on Somali pirates (Lead) - Apr 10, 2009
- US Navy gearing for standoff with Somali pirates - Apr 09, 2009
- India tweaks navy's anti-piracy rules of engagement (Lead) - Mar 11, 2011
- UN chief appalled by Somali pirates' killing of Americans - Feb 23, 2011
- US Navy reaches ship hijacked by Somali pirates (Lead) - Apr 09, 2009
- Ship owners ask Somali pirates to release seven Indians (Lead) - Apr 17, 2011
- Hostage crisis: Navy rushes warship to Somali coast - Apr 18, 2011
- Somali pirates negotiate with US Navy over hostage - Apr 10, 2009
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