News / Africa

UN Piracy Chief: More Countries Should Help Kenya Try Pirates

The United Nations Secretary General's special advisor on piracy legal issues Jack Lang, from France, right, listens to an unidentified suspected Somali pirate, on remand, at the Shimo la Tewa GK Prison in Mombasa, Kenya, 11 Oct 2010
The United Nations Secretary General's special advisor on piracy legal issues Jack Lang, from France, right, listens to an unidentified suspected Somali pirate, on remand, at the Shimo la Tewa GK Prison in Mombasa, Kenya, 11 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Audio
Michael Onyiego

With piracy on the rise off the east-African coast, a top U.N. advisor has called for the international community to ease the burden placed on Kenya to try and jail convicted hijackers.  The statement comes just weeks after Kenya announced its international agreements to detain Somali pirates had expired.

During a brief stop in Nairobi, the U.N. secretary general's special adviser on piracy issues, Jack Lang, weighed in Tuesday on Kenya's reluctance to try any more piracy suspects captured in the Indian Ocean.  Lang told reporters that Kenya has provided an example in dealing with the growing problem of piracy, and urged the international community to provide better support to the east African nation.

The Special Adviser's stop was part of a three-month tour begun in August to investigate new ways to deal with the increasing numbers of hijackers launching from the Somali coast.

Kenya, along with the Seychelles, is the only country in east Africa that has agreed to prosecute pirates captured in the Indian Ocean by international patrols.  Kenya has signed agreements with the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union, Denmark and China to try suspected pirates in return for support, but the country increasingly complained it is facing the burden alone.

The move to hold Somali pirates also has been unpopular among Kenya's politicians, who argue the agreements placed excessive costs and security risks squarely on Kenya's shoulders.

The Director of the Seafarer's Assistance Program in East Africa, Andrew Mwangura, said the agreements diverted resources from Kenya's already strained court system.  "In Mombasa Courts we have got only 11 court prosecutors," said Mwangura.  "And these prosecutors have to carry other cases, like murder cases, robbery crime and domestic violence.  Apart from that, Kenya has got a backlog of about 185,000 cases countrywide.  And also, there is parliament, because they are using taxpayer's money to keep these people in our prisons."

On September 30th, the Kenyan government announced the agreements to try pirates had expired and it would no longer accept pirates.  Western countries have been negotiating with Kenya to renew the deal, but officials have not specified publicly what Kenya needs to receive to continue trying suspects.

Since 2009, Kenya has convicted an estimated 43 pirates and holds about 100 more.  Despite the expiration of the agreements, Kenya has continued to take on pirates captured in the past two weeks.

The United States Navy transferred nine Somali's into Kenyan custody Tuesday after capturing them last month in the Gulf of Aden.

In Nairobi, Lang called for new ideas to deal with the issue of piracy, and he called on new partners to detain and prosecute suspected pirates.

The Special Adviser is visiting the region amidst a rise in hijackings in recent weeks.  On Sunday, Somali pirates hijacked a Japanese cargo ship off the coast of Kenya along with 20 members of the crew.  At least 61 sailors have been captured by Somali pirates since the last week of September.

Somalia has not had a functioning government for more than 20 years.  Lang said any solution to the piracy problem would have to involve a commitment to stability in Somalia.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid