India Advocates UN-led Anti-Piracy Force

This past Wednesday, the UN Security Council received a briefing on the current situation in Somalia.  The main focus of the meeting was the increase in size of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which may be coordinating its efforts against al Shabaab with Ethiopian and Kenyan forces.  The meeting also addressed the continuing problem of piracy. In this regard, the Indian ambassador to the UN stated that the UN needs to adopt a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy and that part of this strategy should include a “UN-led anti-piracy force to conduct naval operations.” At present, naval operations in the Gulf of Guinea are fragmented, with several navies operating independently, others working under the auspices of NATO or EUNAVFOR, and soon, a private company operating a fleet of armed ships.  This fragmentation is complicated with the increasing use of armed private security contractors aboard ships which some have suggested should also be replaced with UN forces. The proper mix of international military forces and private security forces will continue to be a point of debate.  But with so many different forces operating in the same seas, a coordinated strategy is desperately needed.

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