Kenya decries lack of global support over piracy

Kenya on Monday complained of lack of international support in fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti asserted that the international community had failed to assist Kenya fight piracy off the Coast of Somalia, forcing the country to overstretch the capacity of its security agencies and courts.

The Minister told the 78th Interpol-United Nations ministerial meeting in Singapore that Kenya, with her limited resources had managed to prosecute and jail 10 pirates while the cases of 101 others were still ongoing in local courts.

“The transfer of this disproportionately large number of suspected pirates to Kenya for trial has overstretched the capacities of our law enforcement and judicial agencies. Furthermore, there has not been a commensurate inflow of support into Kenya from the international community,” the minister complained.

Prof Saitoti insisted that the international community was under obligation to share the burden borne out of the global threat posed by pirate activities in Indian Ocean with Kenya.

“In order to confront piracy and other security threats, concerted and deliberate efforts towards increased international co-operation and collaboration need to be embraced. Similarly, effective international policing strategies must be developed and employed at the national, regional and international levels,” the minister stated.

The Kenya government has repeatedly voiced concern that its courts are overwhelmed by the rising number of cases involving suspected Somali pirates. The government has stated that its judicial system lacks the capacity to handle the rising number of cases.

In his speech, Prof Saitoti noted that it was imperative for the international community to boost the capacities and competences of law enforcement agencies in affected states.

The minister further urged the forum to work towards forging strong partnerships between states and regions to tackle the effects of civil strife in various countries.

He reiterated that even though the challenges faced by countries emerging from conflicts are immense, the opportunities at the disposal of the international community to manage them could be achieved through strong partnerships.