Piracy payback: UN plans blitz on Somali bases

The United Nations is reportedly planning military action against east African pirates. A source close to the UN Security Council told RT it’s considering authorising a raid on bases along the Somali coast. If this happens, armed strikes could target land

The UN Security Council has unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution aimed at tackling piracy off the coast of Somalia. The measures include freezing the assets and restricting the travel of individuals and organisations who violate the country's arms embargo.

But some experts say the fight won't be effective unless a new international body is set up to co-ordinate the forces from the various nations.

A number of countries have agreed to send more ships to the Gulf of Aden, while the British navy has offered a ship to act as a command centre.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council the surge in piracy against ships along the Somali coast has affected trade, and contributed to a humanitarian crisis. He also said the country’s transitional federal government is suffering. The East African nation has been without a functioning government since 1991 and has no navy to police its coastline.

In early June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution permitting countries to enter Somalia's territorial waters to combat “acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.”

The UN Charter allows the Council to order action like this if there is a perceived threat to peace or security.

Pirates' trophies

The crew of at least seventeen ships are being held hostage by pirates off Somalia, including three vessels seized in the past two days: a Greek bulk carrier, a Thai fishing boat and an Iranian bulk freighter.

International concern over shipping safety in the region has risen since a huge tanker, the Sirius Star, carrying up to 2 million barrels of Saudi oil was seized on Saturday.

Nine ships have been hijacked in the area in just two weeks. Over two hundred sailors are being held hostage by Somali pirates.

Indian warship sinks pirate vessel

On Wednesday pirates saw the first failure after a series of successful seizures. An Indian navy warship Tabar sank a pirate vessel in the Gulf of Aden when it attempted to ram Tabar.

The Indian ship is part of a multi-national force patrolling the region where one in ten merchant vessels comes under attack.

It is a multi-purpose vessel built at a Russian shipbuilding plant in St Petersburg. The ship entered the Indian Navy in 2004. Tabar is capable of leading military actions against ships and submarines as well as counter air attacks.

Earlier Tabar took part in battles with pirates. In early November it countered the attack at the Indian cargo ship Jag Arnav, making the pirates flee.

Indian military vessels were dispatched to the Gulf of Aden on October 3.