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Somalia opposes extension of UN piracy resolution

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) opposes the further extension of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that allows foreign navies to enter Somali territorial waters to repress piracy, according to a letter submitted by its UN ambassador on 28 February.

The ambassador said the resolution has achieved its objectives and Somalia is building up its own maritime security capabilities.

“We have accelerated our efforts to build and capacitate our maritime law enforcement agencies and have established a specialised maritime unit to specifically deal with new international maritime threats and crimes,” he said. “[The FGS] has made concrete steps to acquire capabilities to proactively counter maritime crimes, including rapid navy and coastguard deployment and high-tech capabilities.”

The clause was approved by the UNSC in December 2008, but the latest resolution passed on 3 December 2021 only extended it for three months rather than the usual 12, having noted there have been no successful hijackings for ransom off the Somali coast since March 2017.

The Security Council Report website has reported that the resolution does not expire until 31 March and that the European Union was seeking for it to be extended by another nine months to allow its Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mission to continue operating in Somali warters.

The latest report to the UNSC on piracy off Somalia in November 2021 noted that, while there have been no successful hijackings, an armed attack took place inside Somalia's territorial waters on 13 August 2021 when the Turkish roll-on/roll-off ship Anatolian was attacked on its way to deliver military equipment to Mogadishu.

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