Tanzania Invites UN help with Piracy

In his speech yesterday to the UN General Assembly, Tanzanian President Kikwete invited the assistance of the international community in combating piracy:

The problems of piracy still lingers on and is expanding. We are now witnessing more and more attacks taking place as far South from Somalia to as far as Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar. Since last year, when piracy activity moved south into our territorial waters 13 ships have been attacked 5 of them were hijacked. These attacks have caused an increase in the cost of shipping. If we don’t succeed in stopping these attacks they may disrupt shipping services and impact negatively or our economy. We need the support of the international community to help build capacity to fight piracy. We welcome your readiness to assist us improve our courts and prisons to try and punish the pirates. If simply a gesture was extended to build capacity to prevent attacks there would be less pirates to bother us.

This follows the report of the UN Secretary General in June 2011 in which the Tanzanian government signaled its willingness to host a Somali extra-territorial court for piracy if certain conditions were met. Those conditions included the provision or lease of a new naval vessel to Tanzania to fight piracy off its coast and assistance to four or five detention facilities to house pirate suspects in various parts of the country (to reduce security concerns).

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