UN Security Council to consider specialised courts for Somali pirates

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Security Council on Monday said it would urgently consider the establishment of specialized Somali courts to try suspected pirates both in Somalia and in the region to boost anti-piracy efforts,

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the council said that it decided on the establishment of the courts based on the recommendations contained in a report by the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Legal Issues Related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Jack Lang.

It urged both State and non-State actors affected by piracy, most notably the international shipping community, to provide support for a host of judicial- and detention-related projects through the trust fund set up for that purpose.

It also stressed the need for ``a comprehensive response to tackle piracy and its underlying causes by the international community, as outlined in a wide array of measures to more effectively counter the scourge of piracy''.

The council also called on States to cooperate on the issue of hostage-taking, as well as encouraged States and regional organizations to assist Somalia in strengthening its coastguard capacity.

It further urged all States, including those in the region, to criminalize piracy under their domestic laws and underline the need to investigate and prosecute those who illicitly finance, plan, organize, or unlawfully profit from pirate attacks off the Somali coast.

Also, the resolution identified the ongoing instability in Somalia as one of the underlying causes of the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of the Horn of Africa nation.

In its previous resolutions, the council had authorized States and regional organizations to enter Somalia’s territorial waters and use ``all necessary means'', to fight piracy by deploying naval vessels and military aircraft, as well as seizing and disposing of boats, vessels, arms and related equipment used for piracy.

Somalia, which has not had a functioning central government since 1991, has been torn apart by decades of conflict and factional strife, more recently with al-Shabaab Islamic militants.

The country is also facing a dire humanitarian crisis in which 2.4 million people are in need of assistance.

The UN recently said that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), currently in place, has made some progress in tackling the country’s challenges, but requires further international support.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, said in a statement that he was convening a high-level consultative meting in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday on the transition process in the country.

``The overall aim is to revive dialogue so that the peace process regains momentum,” Mahiga said.

``No peace process can move forward without dialogue,'' he added.

The envoy also noted that, ``the two-day conference will lay the ground for a follow-up meeting to take place later next month in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as requested by the TFG, and is expected to advance talks and initiatives on peacemaking and state-building''.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 11April2011

11 april 2011 19:04:40

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