Capture Somali Pirate Masterminds, UN Expert Says

      January 27, 2011 12:30

      A senior diplomat has proposed capturing a dozen Somali tribal leaders believed to be masterminding piracy behind the scenes and setting up a special court to try them. Jacques Lang, a former French foreign minister and currently special adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Somali piracy, called for "those who order the pirates to carry out their attacks" to be tracked down, the BBC said Tuesday.

      "There are about a dozen brains. We know their names," Lang said after submitting a proposal for additional measures to fight Somali piracy to the UN Security Council on Monday.

      Jacques Lang, the UN special adviser on Somali piracy, speaks at a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday in this screen grab from KBS. /Courtesy of KBS

      According to his report, Somali pirates made US$9.5 million by kidnapping some 2,000 people over the last two years, and they are still holding 26 ships and 612 people hostage as of the end of last year. The report warns that if the international community does not act now, the pirate economy off the Somali coast will expand to an irreversible point.

      The report also points that due to lack of an international court where Somali pirates can be tried and punished, almost nine out of 10 captured pirates are released. It proposes that pirates are tried under Somali law "in courts set up in Somaliland, Puntland in northern Somalia, and Arusha in Tanzania."

      The budget needed will be less than US$25 million for three years and can be supplied by discussion among the UN donors, it adds.

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