New Somali Government Hails Obama’s Promised Piracy Fight

The new Somali government has expressed delight in President Barack Obama's promise to help fight the escalating piracy problem off the Somali coast. At a Washington news conference, President Obama said he was willing to work with other nations to halt the rise of piracy. President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's government said Obama's promise to help fight piracy comes at a time when the new administration is pleading for help from the international community to help resolve the problem. This came after U.S. Navy Special Forces Sunday freed an American cargo ship's captain and killed his three Somali pirate captors, ending a five-day standoff in a lifeboat. 

Abdirashid Irro Mohammed is the Somali minister for Commerce. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that the piracy problem requires and international solution.

"It is a pleasure for us and we are really happy to receive such kind of response from the United States of America. We do believe that if we get the support for our government, especially for the security forces we can overcome the piracy issue. We do believe now that the piracy issue is an international problem and it needs to have international solution. So, I do believe if we strengthen our security forces we can overcome and we can clean our territorial waters," Mohammed pointed out.

He said resolving Somalia's protracted political problems would go a long way in helping to resolve the piracy problem.

"We also do believe that unless we make peace and security as well as law and order inland we cannot control the water," he said.

Mohammed said the new Somali government is gradually beginning to take full charge of the lawlessness in the country.

"You know this new government was only formed in the last two months and we are still organizing and recruiting our security forces. We have been a failed state for the last 19 years so we cannot overnight be in a perfect position. But we need to organize our security forces like the police the military, the national intelligence and we also need to have our marine forces as well as human intelligence. But we don't have any equipment and we need to have some ships, we need to have helicopters as well as some military equipment. So if we get international support for all those things we can overcome the piracy issues and we can make the waters conducive once again," Mohammed noted.

He said there have been numerous pledges from some countries to help the new government in its effort to resolve the escalating piracy problem off the Somali coast, but so far he said all the countries are yet to live up to their promises.

"We have always been hearing nice words from the international community like Kenya or any other country. They have been making pledges and they have been making some nice statements, but we need to be very practical and this issue is really hurting everybody locally and internationally. This is an international crime and there is need to take measures as soon as possible. So once our forces are equipped we can deal with the situation," he said.

Mohammed said without logistical support the war on piracy would be difficult to fight and even win.

"Unless Somalia gets better security forces, this piracy problem will continue. And really it is a threat to lives and property for the whole international marine activities," Mohammed said.

Meanwhile, President Obama said Monday that his administration will continue to work with partners to prevent future pirate attacks. He also said those who commit acts of piracy should be held accountable for their crimes.

President Obama said the American people also had a reason to be proud of the captain who offered himself up as a hostage to the pirates in an effort to protect the crew of his cargo vessel.

He spoke one day after the dramatic rescue of an American cargo ship captain who had been held hostage by the pirates since last week. Richard Phillips was rescued Sunday after members of an elite Navy unit shot and killed three of his captors. President Obama ordered the military to take action if there was reason to believe Phillips' life was in danger. He said he was pleased with the results, noting the captain's safety was the top concern throughout the crisis.

Meanwhile, the Somali pirates have vowed to avenge the shooting of their comrades, as well as Friday's French military assault to rescue a yacht in which two pirates were killed and three captured.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs