Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Somalia Analysts Suggest Better Strategies to Fight Piracy"

Pirates surrender to Royal Marine boarding teams. 2009. Flickr/UK Ministry of Defense.

I'm quoted in Nico Colombant's Voice of America piece on the recent killing of four Americans by four suspected Somali pirates.

Here are the quotes:
A professor at George Washington University and former U.S. ambassador in Africa, David Shinn, says arresting and trying the pirates has also proved challenging.

"You have 100 plus in the Kenyan court system at the moment, you have probably a dozen or more in the Seychelles system, you have a few others scattered around Europe and the United States and still the process frequently is to catch and release because they are too much trouble to find places where you can put these Somali pirates. Even if you do, there is no guarantee that they are going to be dealt with expeditiously and in a manner in which they do not get off the hook, as it were," he said.
Former ambassador Shinn says there should be more of a carrot and stick approach.

The carrot he mentions is more outside help in developing areas in Somalia he calls pirate dens, such as communities along the coast of Puntland in the northeast. The stick would be going after the pirate mother ships, an approach India's navy has already tried.

"The Indians simply sink them. You have to be careful when you do that to make sure that there are not captured persons on board. But in those instances where the Indians have either been attacked by those vessels or they are convinced that there are no hostages on board, they simply sink the mother ships and I think more of that has to be done," he said.

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