News / Africa

EU High Representative Pushes Kenyan Commitment to Combat Piracy

Michael Onyiego

The European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Chief says she has secured Kenya's commitment to prosecute pirates during a four-day visit to the region.  

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton met with Kenyan officials in the past two days to discuss collaborative efforts to combat piracy off of the Somali coast.

Kenya has been a focal point in the fight against international piracy.  Hijackings often occur in or near Kenyan waters and the east African nation has agreed with a number of countries, including the United States and the European Union, to detain pirates captured by international patrols.

Kenya has prosecuted scores of pirates during the past few years, but last month announced it would not take any more, saying the burden put an undue strain on its limited resources and overstretched judicial system.  Kenya has asked for more international support, but has refused to publicly specify what that support would entail.

In a news conference with Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula, Ashton said progress has been made on the issue of burden sharing.

"We had fruitful and good discussions to reconcile the immediate issues," said Catherine Ashton. "That was to agree on an understanding that Kenyans will continue to deal with pirates but with the recognition that there is more that we need to do to support, internationally, those efforts."

Ashton assured Kenyans a regional and international approach would be part of that support, and highlighted a newly established court in the Seychelles to demonstrate European commitment.

Earlier this month, the government of Seychelles and the European Union announced the establishment of a regional center to combat piracy that includes a special court.

Critics have pointed out the Seychelles court has an even more limited capacity to detain and prosecute pirates than its Kenyan counterpart, but Ashton clarified the court is merely a piece in a multifaceted approach to the issue.  

The two also discussed the capacity of the Somali government.  Foreign Minister Wetang'ula said stabilizing Somalia would be a key component in any attempt to stop pirates from attacking ships off of the east-African coast.

"Piracy off the Somali coast is not born at sea; it is born on land," said Moses Wetang'ula. "And to fight piracy successfully we must focus on how to assist our brothers and sisters in Somalia, find a degree of normalcy so that they can have a functional government and emerge from the unenviable status of a failed state."

Ashton said the Somali crisis would be specifically addressed at an international conference this weekend in Istanbul.

The EU High Representative will travel to Tanzania before arriving in the Seychelles to attend a regional forum on piracy prevention.  

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid