UN piracy pointman urges 'sea and land' strategy
The United Nation's newly named special advisor on piracy said solutions to the problem had to be found "at sea and on land" and promised to issue recommendations within three months.
"The main aim of my mission concerns penal cases of pirates, the judgement and jailing," said former French culture minister Jack Lang, who embarked on his three-month diplomatic odyssey last week.
"The solution can be found on sea and on land because the law can not be separated from economic and social realities" in war-torn Somalia, he said.
Warships from several countries are targeting armed raiders operating in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Some vessels are under European Union or NATO command, others are independent members of a loose anti-piracy coalition.
But there is no overall plan to prosecute pirates captured in international waters. Some have been charged in Kenya or the Seychelles, some brought back to Europe and some have simply been disarmed and released.
Lang said that he explore ways of tackling piracy "without taboos", noting that a July UN report recommended a range of options from strengthening regional courts and prisons to setting up a new international crime tribunal.
Lang, a Socialist politician whom French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sent on diplomatic missions to North Korea and Cuba, said he had met with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini about "questions of security at sea and the political situation in Somalia."
"It's the first government that I'm visiting in Europe in order to highlight the importance of Italy's role ... in Somalia," he said.
Lang is next to head to Copenhagen, where the United Nation's contact group on piracy is based.
© 2010 AFP