UN Mandate Virtually Worthless In Stopping Somali Pirates

Surprise!

Somali pirates struck again yesterday, seizing an Iranian cargo ship holding 30,000 tonnes of grain, as the world’s governments and navies pronounced themselves powerless against this new threat to global trade.

Admiral Michael Mullen, the US military chief, pronounced himself stunned by the pirates’ reach after their capture of the supertanker Sirius Star and its $100 million (£70 million) cargo. Commanders from the US Fifth Fleet and from Nato warships in the area said that they would not intervene to retake the vessel.

The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, the owner of the ship, condemned the hijacking as an “outrageous act” that required international action.

Here it comes

 Pirates pulled the 333m supertanker yesterday to a mooring point off Harardhere, on the Somali coast. Farther north, Italian, Greek, Turkish, British, American and Russian frigates and warships were patrolling the Gulf of Aden under a UN mandate.

 Operations undertaken by the coalition fleet are fraught with legal difficulties, ranging from restrictive rules of engagement to rights of habeas corpus, as the British Navy discovered when it detained eight pirates after a shootout last week. Yesterday the detainees were passed on to Kenya, where efforts to prosecute them will be closely watched for precedent.

Here’s an idea: screw the United Nations. Here’s a group that has no military of its own, with leaders who mostly come from countries with tiny worthless militaries, trying to dictate the use of military forces. Those countries with navies who want to be involved should just go and blockade the Somali ports, where the majority of these pirates are coming from, and stop all ships going out. Use those caught as target practice for live fire exercises. And, in the cases where ships are hijacked, let groups such as the Navy SEALS get their live fire, real world practice in.

BTW, there is also some surrender talk in the article regarding the thought that maybe they should just let the Islamic Court re-establish control of Somalia.

More: Getting beyond the fact that John Hawkins needs to pony up some $$ for discussing pirates 😀 , he has an interesting take, and pulled out some humorous comments from the story.

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