Published On: Wed, Mar 30th, 2011

Somaliland Presidential Statement on Counter-piracy

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Hargeisa (ANN) “Somaliland adopts a proactive policy against the piracy. We have successfully convicted over sixty pirates who had been

found guilty of committing sea crimes in our international territorial water who are now serving prison sentences. This has deterred pirates from violating Somaliland coast. Key instruments in this success include the fact that we have denied pirates of establishing bases on the ground in Somaliland. And we have a coastal guard force that is capable of safeguarding our sea.

Somaliland also works with the international community in countering piracy. We are signatory to the Kampala Process and we participate the ICG – Working Group 2 meetings which offer regional forums for policy development and technical cooperation on counter-piracy programmes. We would like to enlarge this international cooperation and directly engage with EU member states, USA, Norway and the Gulf States to further consolidate our achievements. 

Somaliland is the frontline of the fight against piracy. We do not permit pirates to use our territory from which to launch their attacks on international shipping. Therefore, you will find us a reliable partner in the struggle against piracy. Given more resources, we could do even more to help.

I should however state that Somaliland does not wish to become a prison for pirates arrested on the high seas or in other countries. This would pose risk to our security. We will however continue to arrest pirates who violate Somaliland territorial water and Somalilanders who commit act of piracy elsewhere.

We express our grave concern over the growing number of people, including seafarers, held hostage. We think prosecution and detention of pirates are effective means of deterring piracy.

However, we believe there is a need for increased international cooperation on eradicating the root causes of piracy. In this regard, Somaliland welcomes the report of the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General on Legal Issues related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, and looks forward to further debate in the UN on the implementation of its recommendations.

While looking forward to more cooperation in this area, please accept the assurance of my highest consideration.”

Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo
President, Republic of Somaliland

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