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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kenya Can’t Protect Itself Against Somali Pirates

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kenyan courts ruled that activities on the outskirts of Kenyan waters are not the responsibility of the government, and as a result released nine Somali pirates who were captured on the border of African and Indian waters. 

This ruling could sustain drastic upheaval for the country, as recently Africa has been a victim of severe piracy violence.

Executive Director of UNODC Yury Fedotov pleaded for the expansion of the office’s regional program, the upgrade of prisons and courts and insisted that Somali pirates convicted in Kenya should likewise be prosecuted in their home country. Kenya currently has more than 100 suspected Somali pirates in holding, with a dozen more set to go on trial soon.

Judge Mohammed Ibrahim made the final decision to release the suspected Somali pirates, who were captured by a German navy vessel through U.S. assistance. “The local courts can only deal with offences for criminal incidences that take place within the territorial jurisdiction of Kenya. The high seas are not and cannot be a place within Kenya or within the territorial waters of Kenya," Ibrahim said.

This ruling could change the way Kenya handles the influx of suspected pirates in those border waters, and according to United Nations’ B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, the criminals “were outpacing international efforts to stem the menace.”

Just months after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the government for positive restructuring, Pascoe presented Ki-moon’s report yesterday regarding the problems of piracy.

Pascoe said to the Secretary Council, “Economic rehabilitation and the creation of alternative livelihoods, especially the development and rehabilitation of coastal fisheries, must be at the centre of our efforts to fight piracy.”

Source: African Business

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