Friday, October 10, 2008

CRY OF THE NATION

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Friday, October 10, 2008
Kenya Times
Nairobi, Kenya

Story by: By Kipng’eno Cheruiyot

A JOINT UN-African Union panel sitting in Nairobi yesterday said Kenya has no authority to intervene in the hijacked Ukrainian ship even if it was carrying cargo destined for the country.

The panel said Kenya has no mandate over the ship hijacked by Somali pirates and which is still in the high seas adding that its assistance can only be enlisted by the international community in the rescue operation since it had not docked at the port of Mombasa.

Former Kenya’s Special Envoy to the Sudanese Peace talks Lt. Gen. Lazarus Sumbeiywo said the hijacking would have affected Kenya had the Ukrainian ship docked in Kenyan territorial waters adding that the services of the Kenyan Navy would then have been sought.

"It affects Kenya when it is only in the port of Mombasa. If the international community requires help in the rescue operations, it will be in their interest not Kenya alone, "said Sumbeiywo. Chairman of the Panel Dr. Monica Juma said there was urgent need to step up international action to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia, supporting a resolution by the UN Security Council authorising military intervention.

She expressed grave concern at the latest proliferation of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea against vessels off the coast of Somalia and repeated its condemnation of such attacks. The UN Security Council on Wednesday voted unanimously for a step up international action to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia.

The body called on all countries with a stake in maritime safety to send naval ships and military aircraft to confront the seaborne criminals. Sumbeiywo said the fact that the ship was commercial; it was expected to deliver its cargo to its destination and that the security of the content would have been passed over to the recipients.

He said the intervention of the Kenyan Navy would only have been handy had the ship been Kenyan adding that for commercial purpose ships, that would be near impossible. The UN resolution also calls on ships and planes to use "the necessary means" to stop acts of piracy. It was adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which means its provisions can be enforced militarily.

The resolution says the pirates and robbers pose a "serious threat . . . to the prompt, safe and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia", where as many as 3.5 million Somalis will reportedly be dependent on food aid by the end of the year.

It notes that shipping companies will not deliver food to Somalia without maritime escorts, and urges all states and regional organisations to continue taking action to protect UN World Food Programme maritime convoys.

It also notes "that increasingly violent acts of piracy are carried out with heavier weaponry, in a larger area off the coast of Somalia" using mother ships and more sophisticated methods of attack. Somali pirates are still holding an Ukrainian cargo ship loaded with tanks and heavy weapons hijacked late last month.

They initially demanded a $20 million ransom and warned they would fight back against any commando-style rescue attempts. A half-dozen US navy warships have surrounded the MV Faina. The resolution only applies to pirates off Somalia, whose 3,025 km coastline is the longest in Africa and near key shipping routes that connect the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea.

Most pirate attacks occur in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, to the north of Somalia. But recently, pirates have been targeting Indian Ocean waters off eastern Somalia. More than 60 ships have been attacked in the notorious African waters this year.

Military experts believe the most likely option was a commando-style raid to overpower the pirates on board, rather than a direct attack on the ship. Shooting the vessel could cause a catastrophic explosion and kill the hostages as well as losing the entire cargo, they said.

The Security Council resolution was described by the UN as necessary to repress piracy, consistent with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The vote to attack the pirates holding the ship that has been moored off Somalia since September 26 came as the Kenya Government through Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula backed the use of force to repossess the ship.

The Government has insisted the controversial 33 T-72 tanks, rocket propelled grenades and spare parts on the MV Faina belong to Kenya’s Defence ministry although other reports maintain the cargo was destined for South Sudan

1 comments:

USpace said...
October 11, 2008 at 6:55 AM  

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Being Muslims, they must be peaceful pirates at least. These Somali pirate monkeys are out of control. They go out for weeks in little rickety boats with just weapons and water and eat raw fish they catch and keep hijacking bigger then bigger, then bigger boats.

These terrorist monkeys must be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Several drones into their camps when they're fat and happy celebrating their new money should do the trick.

Lots of great Pirate coverage over at Dinah Lord:
Somalian Gov't Charges Pirate Negotiator Andrew Mwangura
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't exterminate pirates

seizing ships for ransom
everybody gets rich

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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
let pirates operate

you will get cut of ransom
and maybe some weapons too

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All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
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Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
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Help Halt Terrorism Today!
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USpace

:)
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