UN Urging More Anti-Piracy Action Off African Coasts

Posted November 1st, 2011 at 2:05 am (UTC-5)
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A senior U.N. official says that despite unprecedented efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, countries must do more to address the problem.

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun told the Security Council Monday that efforts to stem pirate attacks “remain insufficient” as Somali pirates extend their operations farther into the Indian Ocean.

He said the piracy fight should focus on deterrence, security and developing rule of law, and that counter-piracy should be a key part of the Somali peace process.

The Security Council adopted a resolution last week calling for tougher anti-piracy measures in Somalia.

On Monday, the Council also condemned piracy and acts of armed robbery off the coast of West Africa. It urged the international community to strengthen efforts in the Gulf of Guinea, where pirates have attacked about 20 ships this year.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a similar appeal last month, and said he is sending a team of U.N. officials to the region to assess the situation.

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea operate on a smaller scale than pirates in Somalia.

Experts have noted that West African pirates tend to attack ships for their cargo, while Somali pirates hold ships and crews for ransom.