Monday, May 24, 2010

Somali Pirates!

Since the beginning of this century, piracy off the coast of Somalia has presented an increasing threat to shipping. There is now an international fleet in the area offering some measure of protection - but hijackings still occur. But the question of what happens to pirates after they are captured by international forces still remains to be adequately answered. Today we ask the experts.

Xu Qinduo, He Wenping, Chris Gelken

On our panel were:

Prof. He Wenping, Director of African Studies Section, Institute of West Asian & African Studies (IWAAS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)

Peter Eichstaedt, a veteran journalist on African affairs. The author of an upcoming book titled "Pirate State: Inside Somalia's Terrorism at Sea"

Douglas Burnett, an international maritime legal expert, Partner of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey

Among the points raised:

- A strong deterrent against attack would be merchant ships with strong defenses, armed guards and barbed wire strung around the hull.

- Piracy problem can't be left up to Kenya alone - international community must share the burden of prosecuting pirates.

- Peter Eichstaedt says there is a growing number of indirect links between pirates and terrorist groups in Somalia

- Douglas Burnett says creating an international tribunal to handle piracy cases is too impractical, would take years.

Listen to the full panel discussion here on Prosecuting the Pirates!

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