Wednesday, June 13, 2012

House of Lords probes anti-piracy progress

The House of Lords EU sub-committee on external affairs’ follow-up inquiry on Somali piracy will open tomorrow, taking evidence from witnesses including Minister of State for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey and Royal Navy captain DavidReindorp.  The committee published a report, Combating Somali Piracy: the EU’s Naval Operation Atalanta, in April 2010.  It called for both a “more robust approach to be taken to prosecution and punishment of pirates as well as more effort to tackle the root causes of extreme poverty in Somalia in order to change the perceived risk or reward ratio for potential pirates”.  The committee plans to quiz Mr Harvey and Capt Reindorp on the UK’s contribution to Operation Atalanta and about the  contribution of other European Union member states. It will also examine the success of new procedures such as stationing armed guards on board commercial vessels.  Other witnesses will be quizzed about the situation in Somalia and about progress in prosecuting captured pirates.

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