Denmark calls for more help on Somali piracy

23rd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Denmark called on Thursday for more international support for efforts it is leading against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, amid warnings of a rise in attacks on shipping.

"More than 600 people are currently being held hostage by Somali pirates," Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen said in a guest commentary in the Hamburger Abendblatt German daily.

"Experts estimate total losses from piracy were some 16 billion dollars in 2010. Between 2007 and 2001 the number of attacks and kidnappings by pirates increased more than four-fold," she said.

"As Danish foreign minister I encourage all governments and organisations to take part in the global struggle against piracy."

Denmark is currently chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, bringing together more than 55 states and organisations and which met in Copenhagen this week for the eighth time.

The United Nations Security Council was warned Tuesday that pirates are attacking growing numbers of ships in the Indian Ocean.

Since January 1, there have been at least 171 attacks off the coast of Somalia and at the end of May the pirates held 26 vessels and more than 600 hostages, France's UN envoy Gerard Araud said.

© 2011 AFP

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