Somalilandsun – Underfunded thus limited resources the coast guard has managed to thwart piracy activities within the territorial waters of the republic of Somaliland where over 100 pirates are currently serving stiff sentences while suspected 10 others are awaiting trial in Berbera.
This revelations were made by the Somaliland foreign minister Mohamed Behi Yonis during an address at the closing session of the 3rd UAE Counter-Piracy conference Dubai in which he also thanked the community for continued support while urging recognition of his country that he said is , “fighting piracy with one hand tied behind its back” due to non recognition and attendant benefits.
Read below the verbatim excerpts of the Speech by the Somaliland Foreign Minister at the 3rd UAE Counter-Piracy conference
“Somaliland is proud of our leading record in fighting piracy across the region. With limited resources, we have created an effective coast guard that is keeping our shores free of pirate bases. Close to 100 suspected pirates have been apprehended off the coast of Somaliland and 10 of these suspected pirates are currently awaiting trial in Berbera, Somaliland.
“We thank the international community for all it is doing to support our efforts, and we will continue to work closely with international maritime powers and neighbouring Somalia, through the Kampala process, to co-ordinate activity.
“However, without international recognition, and the rights that recognition confers to nation states, we cannot properly regulate financial flows which are part of the problem, nor can we host overseas navies in our ports. We are also starved of important forms of aid that would help us in our fight against piracy.
“We therefore say to the international community: we are doing all we can to rid the region of the scourge of piracy and we will continue our close collaboration, but until we have recognition, we are fighting piracy with one hand tied behind our back.”
Somaliland has been campaigning to achieve international recognition as an independent nation state since 1991. It maintains that recognition would not only bring major benefits to the people of Somaliland; it would directly serve the vital strategic interests of the international community.
By accepting Somaliland’s strong legal case for recognition, the international community would enhance security, drive economic development and entrench democracy in one of the world’s most unstable regions.
Somaliland has plans to further strengthen its fight against piracy in the future, including through the development of its own National Maritime Strategy. This document is aligned with Somaliland’s five-year National Development Plan.