UN urges action on Somalia piracy
The United Nations Security Council has approved unanimously a resolution urging nations to send more naval ships and military aircraft to stop piracy off the coast of Somalia, reported Al-Jazeera.
The resolution, drafted by France and adopted on Tuesday, said pirates posed a "serious threat" to deliveries of aid to the Horn of Africa nation, where around 3.5 million people are dependent on them.
It also noted that shipping companies will not deliver food to Somalia without
maritime escorts and urged states and regional organisations to protect UN World Food programme maritime convoys.
It expressed fears that the pirates were becoming "increasingly violent" and using heavier weaponry, saying ships and planes should use "the necessary
means'' to stop attacks.
The 15-nation council passed a similar resolution in June giving countries the right to combat the rise in the hijacking of ships around Somalia which are subsequently held to ransom.
The legally-binding resolution follows the capture by Somalian pirates last month of a Ukrainian ship, the MV Faina, with 33 military tanks on board.
Pirates who seized the MV Faina initially demanded a $20m ransom and warned they would counter any attempts to rescue the ship. Six naval warships have surrounded the vessel.
The resolution applies only to pirates off Somalia, whose 3,700 kilometre-long coastline is the longest in Africa and is close to busy shipping routes that connect the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea.
Most pirate attacks occur in the Gulf of Aden to the north of Somalia, however recently pirates have been targeting Indian Ocean waters off eastern Somalia.
More than 60 ships have been attacked in the area this year alone.
Somalia, a nation of around eight million people, has been without a functioning
government since fighters from several factions overthrew Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.