The UN Security Council, in an unprecedented move, voted unanimously to authorize states to enter Somalia's territorial waters in the Indian Ocean to fight piracy. With 31 hijackings and attempted hijackings reported off the Somali coast last year, the UN finds that piracy in this area has become a threat to international and regional peace and security.
States are authorized to use all necessary means to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery. All naval vessels and military aircraft operating in the area are called upon to be on watch for piracy and to intervene to deter these acts. This authorization lasts six months and applies only to the waters off Somalia, in the hope of making shipping routes through the Gulf of Aden safer. Cargo ships flagged in Gibraltar, Turkey, and The Netherlands were seized by Somali pirates during June.
Don't miss the report on U.S. anti-piracy operations in Cruising Grounds in the August issue of SAIL.
Posted June 16, 2008