Somalia advised to reform its laws to combat maritime crimes

Somalia advised to reform its laws to combat maritime crimes
Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:11PM GMT
Coletta Wanjohi, Press TV, Addis Ababa

nternational anti-piracy experts are helping Somalia to establish a legal mechanism for prosecuting pirates arrested off the coast of the country. The experts have met in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. They have said Somalia must build its capacity to bring the pirates to justice since the majority of them are Somali nationals

According to a maritime organization, called Oceans Beyond Piracy, piracy in the coast of Somalia costs the world economy around 7 billion dollars. Of these 80 % of all costs are borne by the shipping industries while governments account for 20%.

The impact of this maritime crime on Somalia itself is greater since it has greatly hindered the economic development of the country.

International anti piracy experts meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia are recommending that Somalia hastens reforms of its legal system to include anti piracy laws that will have the pirates arrested, convicted and imprisoned in Somali.

At the moment it is reported that 1200 pirates have been arrested and are being held in 21 different countries globally yet majority of them are of Somali origin. Only a third of these are being held by the Somali government.

Anti piracy experts say that although only two piracy cases have been repotted so far this year, this doesn’t mean that maritime crime as a whole has been faced off.

The Somalia government has taken the first step towards combating maritime crimes by developing a strategy, they call the Kampala process.

The Kampala process is an intense discussion held by the Somali people themselves. It involves them working out a maritime strategy for the whole of Somali, looking at the legal issues and trying to harmonize Somalia’s laws. This is what the international community will use as a guide to provide necessary assistance against maritime crimes.

As Somalia looks to reduce crimes at sea it is also being advised to consider reaping from the wealth it has on land.

The anti piracy experts aiding Somalia come from different countries and are grouped into four contact groups, each tackling specific agenda towards ensuring maritime security off the coast of Somalia.