NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Thursday hosted an estimated 200
delegates from 68 countries amid renewed pledge to support
innovative strategies aimed at eradicating the menace of piracy
along the Somalia coastline.
The 21st Plenary Session
of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS)
that was attended by ministers, diplomats and security experts
vowed to inject fresh impetus on efforts to contain maritime
security threats in Somalia and the western Indian Ocean
Raychelle Omamo, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defense,
said in her opening remarks at the forum that a re-invigorated
approach to eradicate piracy in Somalia waters is critical to
boost economic growth and stability in the Horn of Africa state.
"We must enhance collaboration to eliminate the challenge of
piracy and other maritime security threats that are in many ways
linked to under-development in Somalia and the Horn of Africa
region," Omamo said.
She noted that Kenya has rallied behind multinational efforts
aimed at thwarting attacks on commercial vessels plying along
the Somalia coastline.
Omamo emphasized that skills upgrade for Somalia Coast guard,
cross-border intelligence sharing and investments in livelihood
projects is key to eradicate piracy in Somalia waters.
"There is need to address the root causes of piracy that
happens to be poverty, weak governance and inadequate policing,"
"Empowering jobless youth living in Somalia coastline will
also discourage them from participating in piracy and other
maritime crimes," she added.
The Kenyan government in conjunction with multilateral
partners hosted the three-day summit that is expected to come up
with a comprehensive roadmap to revitalize the war against
piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, the Mauritius Minister for Foreign
Affairs and Chair of Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of
Somalia, said that a new paradigm shift was an imperative in
order to defeat the menace of piracy and other maritime crimes
along the Somalia coastline.
"The time is ripe to explore long-term solution to the piracy
crisis in Somalia and momentum will be sustained if we
prioritize investment in community livelihood projects and
strengthening of maritime security through enhanced policing,"
He noted that international collaboration on maritime
security coupled with capacity building of Somalia Coastguard
and public awareness has led to a sharp drop in hijacking of
Ahmed Kheyr Abdulkadir, the Somalia minister for foreign
affairs, said Mogadishu has developed a robust counter-piracy
strategy that blends military strength, diplomacy and community
engagement to eradicate piracy.
"We are strengthening the capacity of coast guard to protect
our waters while tackling illegal fishing and poverty that
drives Somalia youth to piracy," Abdulkadir said.
(Xinhua) — Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo
[right], Mauritius Minister for Foreign Affairs and
also Chairman of the Contact Group on Piracy off the
Coast of Somalia speaks during the 21st
Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the
Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), in Nairobi, July 12, 2018.
Looking on are Monica Juma [left], Kenyan Cabinet
Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade and Raychelle Omamo [centre],
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Defence. Kenya on Thursday
hosted an estimated 200 delegates from 68 countries amid
renewed pledge to support innovative strategies aimed at
eradicating the menace of piracy along the Somalia
XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES
Countries resolve to
revitalize war against piracy off Somalia Coast
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The 21st Plenary Session of the
Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPS) ended in
Nairobi on Friday with delegates from 68 nations endorsing a
communiqué to chart a new roadmap to eradicate the menace in the
Horn of African nation.
Kenya and its multilateral partners hosted the three-day
high-level forum to discuss new strategies to contain the menace
of piracy along Somalia and Western Indian Ocean coastlines that
was attended by ministers, diplomats and security experts.
The delegates in their joint communiqué acknowledged that
piracy remains a huge maritime threat that has undermined
economic growth, peace and stability in Somalia.
"We welcome continued efforts by the international community
to combat and deter piracy off the coast of Somalia while
acknowledging the threat though suppressed has not been
eradicated," said the delegates.
The Nairobi summit in its final communiqué proposed a raft of
measures geared towards eradicating maritime security threats in
Among the resolutions that were endorsed include robust
engagement of state and non-state actors like industry and civil
society at regional and global levels to contain piracy in
Likewise, delegates pledged support for a UN-funded counter
piracy initiatives that provide technical assistance to
countries in the eastern African region to enhance arrest and
prosecution of culprits.
"The plenary reiterated its support to the UN Trust Fund to
support initiatives of states countering piracy off the coast of
Somalia and called for its continuation," said the communiqué.
Delegates rallied behind other innovative measures like
economic empowerment of coastal communities as well as improved
governance and investment in surveillance infrastructure to
defeat the menace of piracy in the Somalia coastline.
"Continued international naval presence as well as action on
illegal fishing and other maritime crimes should inform
counter-piracy activities in Somalia and Western Indian ocean
coastlines," said the Communiqué.
Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, the Mauritius minister for foreign
affairs and chair of Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of
Somalia, said the Nairobi summit endorsed an enlarged mandate
for the international community to hasten the momentum towards a
piracy free Somalia.
"We agreed that a long-term solution to the piracy menace in
Somalia is needed and realization of that goal will be hinged on
enhanced collaboration alongside provision of alternative
livelihood for vulnerable youth," Vishnu said.
He stressed that investments in the blue economy that
guarantees shared prosperity will boost response to maritime
threats facing Somalia and neighboring countries.
Kenya and the United
States call for more efforts
to stabilize Somalia and South Sudan situations
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya and the United States on Wednesday called
for more efforts to stabilize Somalia and South Sudan, saying
regional stability is crucial for economic development.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenya and Thomas Waldhauser, commander
of the U.S.-Africa Command (Africom), renewed their commitment
to peace in the two countries.
Kenyatta, who held talks with Waldhauser, said political
turmoil in South Sudan has been made worse by unwarranted fear
and mistrust between supporters of President Salva Kiir and
rebel leader Riek Machar.
"We shall give it everything we can. But it is not going to
be easy," Kenyatta said in reference to South Sudan, according
to a statement issued after the meeting in Nairobi.
The Kenyan leader said Kenya is firmly committed to the cause
of finding peace in Somalia, an aspiration that has in the past
been negated by lack of adequate capacity, and proper military
Kenyatta said there is need to make both South Sudanese
President Kiir and rebel leader Machar to truly appreciate the
benefits of working together, adding that regional countries are
committed to keeping pressure on the two leaders to work
together for the benefit of the people of South Sudan.
Kenyatta said Somalia faces further challenges of mistrust
and internal politics between the Transitional Federal
Government (TFG) and regional governments.
"The deteriorating relationships between the TFG and the
regional governments are of major concern to us," he said,
adding that the conflict is a major security threat to Kenya and
the region at large.
He called for structures that will enable the TFG to work
with the regional governments, urging its leadership to refocus
its attention and energies into addressing issues that cause
national divisions and avoid being drawn into partisan
Waldhauser, for his part, underscored the need for Somalia to
strengthen its leadership structures, adding that the
instability is partly due to indirect interference from certain
Gulf countries, according to the statement.
"We are ready to continue assisting the country so long as
the federal government is willing to accept our support,"
He called for neutrality from Gulf countries.
"The differences and clashes in these Arabian countries are
playing out in Somalia. We call for their neutrality,"
Relations between Somalia and the United Arab Emirates have
been strained since mid-2017, when Mogadishu defied UAE and
Saudi pressure to cut ties with Qatar following a diplomatic
dispute between the Gulf neighbors.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to
Decades of war, persistent poverty, and poor governance have
undermined further efforts securing the Somalia maritime