The UN Security Council appears to be preparing to formally end the decade-long mission of international naval forces fighting piracy off the Somali coast in East Africa. Council voted last week to only re-authorize the mission for three months, while warning that appropriate mechanisms must be in place to ensure there is no resumption of activities.
Acknowledging the steady decline in attacks and hijackings since 2011 and asserting that although piracy off the Somali coast has been “suppressed”, members of the Security Council have nonetheless stated that the persistent threat of resurgence remains. The UN adopted its first resolution to tackle Somali piracy almost 15 years ago, with the European Union, the United States and other navies launching their coordinated efforts in the region in December 2008. The United Nations Security Council continued to re-authorize the mission every year despite the decline in activities. During the debate on the new resolution, the Security Council acknowledged that “no successful ransom embezzlement has been reported since March 2017”, commending the broad naval coalition and the efforts of the African Union for their counteracting activities. against piracy.
Somali representatives speaking to the Security Council also highlighted the success of the efforts, saying they believe the time has come to end UN efforts and restore sovereignty over their waters. The Associated Press reported that Somali Ambassador to the UN Abukar Dahir Osman told the council: “We believe that the Security Council resolutions on piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia have reached with success the intended objective.
The permanent members of the Security Council, however, spoke out on the dangers and said the mission remained a key deterrent. The United States, which sponsored this year’s resolution, objected to efforts to end the resolution while France raised the potential “security vacuum”, saying three months was not enough time to end. ensure a long-term structure to maintain stability in the Region.
After negotiations between Somalia, the United States and other members of the Council, the resolution authorized for a further period of three months States and regional organizations cooperating with the Somali authorities to combat piracy and theft. armed hand at sea off Somalia. The Council called on all States to “take appropriate measures … to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds …”[and] criminalize piracy under their domestic law.
The ambassadors said investigations and prosecutions must continue for all those who “illegally plan, organize, finance or profit from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia,” while calling on Somalia to bring those who use it to justice. Somali territory to launch the attacks. Among the efforts that the Security Council has called on the Somalis to put in place mechanisms to safely return belongings seized by pirates and to patrol coastal waters to prevent and suppress future acts of armed robbery at sea .
The Security Council said it plans to continue talks with Somalia and will also seek a new resolution with the African Union to ensure the long-term structure is in place for stability in the region. . Somalia, for its part, is proposing bilateral agreements from 2022 to replace broader UN Security Council resolutions.