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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs