Sunday, November 14, 2010

Uganda View on Piracy Efforts

As Reported HERE
Uganda has stridently criticized the Western strategy toward piracy in Somalia and described the campaign as wasteful and inefficient.

"The international reaction has been: 'Let's deal with piracy. Let's have our commanders there.' It is a good reaction, but it has not been successful," James Mugume, permanent secretary at Uganda's Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Friday.

Mugume noted that Uganda's plan to contain piracy is cheaper and more efficient.

"The concept of operation we presented to the Security Council is: let's take over the territory of Somalia. Let's block the ports… and the issue of piracy will automatically be reduced," he said.

The waters off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia are considered the world's most dangerous due to persistent piracy attempts in the area.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels traveling from Asia to Europe and the Americas.

However, attacks by heavily armed Somali pirates in speedboats have prompted some of the world's largest shipping firms to switch routes from the Suez Canal and send cargo vessels around Southern Africa, causing a hike in shipping costs.

Somali pirates are currently holding about 30 foreign vessels and have taken more than 500 crew members hostage.

Somalia, located in the strategic Horn of Africa, does not have a functional government, and the Transitional Federal Government does not have much control beyond the capital city Mogadishu.

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