"Piracy off the coast of Somalia is primarily a Somali problem and the solution should be Somali-owned and supported by the Somali institutions. Any imposition of external solutions will not work in the long run," India's deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri said at the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia yesterday.
He said during 2011, there were 286 attacks against ships in the waters off the coast of Somalia, of which 31 were successful. As of December 20 last year, 13 ships were held by pirates, with a total of 265 hostages.
Puri said despite a reduction in the number of successful attacks, the total number of pirate attacks continues to be high and the geographic spread of pirate activities has expanded into the Red Sea, the Somali Basin and into the western Indian Ocean.
Pirates now cover a geographical area of roughly 2.8 million square miles and safety and security of seafarers remains a matter of very serious concern, he said. "The solution to the problem of piracy in Somalia lies not on the sea, but on the land.
We also support the strengthening of the national and regional capacity in the drafting of national anti-piracy legislation, and towards the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of suspected pirates," he said.