Piracy: Kenyan Forces Deal Blow to Piracy
The pacification of vast swathes of the Southern Somali region which led to the ouster of terrorist group Al Shabaab from Kismayu by Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) has dealt a severe blow to piracy in the region. The Kenya Defense Forces entered Southern Somalia a year ago following provocative actions by the renegade group which had started targeting foreign tourists inside Kenya territory as well as bombing public places in high population areas.
According to a report presented to the 90th session of the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization in June 2012, held in London, UK, there has since been a dramatic decline of piracy incidents since the KDF declared war on the extremist Al Shabaab terrorist group which has affiliations to Al Qaeda .The Kenyan delegation’s position was presented by the Kenya Maritime Authority’s Mr. Wilfred Kagimbi who noted that the role of the military action by Kenya and other units under the African Union and IGAD had been grossly understated if not entirely ignored.
“This is in spite of this committee’s recognition in paragraph 20.33 subparagraph 2 of this report that the number of incidents occurring in the Indian Ocean has decreased from 77 to 63. Kenya as host to one of the three Information Sharing Centers (ISC) under the Djibouti Code of conduct, has statistics which indicate that there has not been any pirate attacks in our region since the Kenya Defense Forces entered Somalia, with the concurrence of TFG and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on 16th October 2011.” Mr. Kagimbi stated.
Kenya Defense Forces have since been integrated into AMISOM. Kenya Defense forces together with Uganda, Burundi and others who are in the process of joining them continue to ensure establishment of law and order with the aim of eventual restoration of the rule of law in Somalia. “It is through such efforts that there is now a glimmer of hope that has enabled some countries to open diplomatic missions in Mogadishu while others are considering doing so. It is the hope of this delegation that with the recognition of the role being played by AMISOM and IGAD to eliminate piracy on a sustainable basis, more countries will become encouraged to support this effort, so that we can deal conclusively with piracy in the region. The Kenyan delegation salutes those brave soldiers who have put their lives at risk in this difficult war in order to ensure freedom of navigation for all in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.” He added. Mr. Kagimbi and the Kenyan delegation maintained that a lasting solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia would only be achieved from pacification of the land. “This delegation therefore requests that, that intervention and this statement be reflected in the records of this meeting.” He concluded.
The steep decline in piracy has been welcomed by many investors in Kenya especially in the tourism industry which has suffered a sharp decline due to the terror attacks on tourists and especially Cruise Tourism which has been absolutely wiped out.