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US seeks UN permission to attack Somalian pirates in home ports

By Adriana Stuijt     Dec 11, 2008 in Business
The Somalian government supports the American call circulated at the UN today to aggressively combat piracy on its landed territory - not just in territorial waters.
With permission from the Somalian government -- however minimal its sphere of influence may be - Task Force 150, which was put together to combat piracy along the East coast of Africa, can now target these increasingly aggressive and well-organised high-tech pirates inside their home-bases. (see the video for details of these home bases).
The US circulated a UN design resolution in the security council today in the latest international initiative to try and combat the growing Somalian piracy threat today. The USA already is on the ground in Somalia - its medical teams from the AFRICOM command have been in place since November.
The US circulated its UN design resolution in the security council as just the latest international initiative to try and combat the growing Somalian piracy threat.
These Somalian pirates in their high-speed boats have become a great danger to international shipping through the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope -- as they are cutting off the all-important merchant marine routeto the entire Southern Hemisphere. Pirates now operate with impunity in East-African waters right up to the Kenyan territorial waters because the UN security council has not given permission for international forces -- combined in Task Force 150 -- to attack them on home-ground.
Twenty-four people died in the past 3 months alone from piracy-activity and many scores of ships have been hijacked, with long-suffering mariners being held to ransom in Somalian ports for months on end.
Approval of this proposed UN resolution would mean that the joint task force would now be allowed to strike at the Somalian pirate bases themselves - something they have not been allowed to do before.
With Somalian government approval -- even it this government does not have control of vast portions of the vast Somalian homeland - attacks on pirates' home bases can now be carried out legally.
The US AFRICOM military command see meanwhile already installing commercial shipboard broadcast transponders in harbours throughout the piracy-threatened region -- to help improve maritime security in the entire Horn of Africa region.
This so-named Automatic Information System operates in Very High Frequency maritime band -- allowing for the automatic exchange of shipboard information between one vessel and another and between a vessel and a shore station.
This forms part of AFRICOM's Maritime Safety and Security Information System. This week the system was handed over on long-term loan by the AFRICOM command to the Mauritius Ports Authority.
This will help them address issues such as smuggling, fisheries violations, environmental degradation, drug trafficking, piracy, human trafficking, terrorism and oil theft, AFRICOM said on its website.
They are also installing satellite dishes in three locations throughout Mauritius to provide for complete coverage of this strategic island off the African east coast.
Meanwhile AFRICOM staffers have also become more familiar with the region when their 'Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa' went into Djibouti from November 16, 2008 to carry out medical programmes among the population until January next year. These brave US soldiers are providing medical aid in rural villages in the Ali Sabieh and Dikil districts of Djibouti. and getting to know the local population at the same time.
"Each village is different and each set up is different so the medical needs are different," explained Dr. (Colonel) Lorrie Oldham, senior MEDCAP physician.
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