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Cablegate: Demarche: Counter-Piracy Cooperation

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #4034 3270120
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220113Z NOV 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA IMMEDIATE 0000

UNCLAS STATE 124034

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EWWT MOPS PHSA PREL XA XW SO DJ
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE: COUNTER-PIRACY COOPERATION

SUMMARY
-------

1. This is an action request. Please see paragraph 2.

OBJECTIVES
----------

2. Department requests Post initiate discussion with the
Government of Djibouti (GOD) on deepening cooperation with
the United States to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and
off the coast of Somalia. Post is requested to pursue the
following objectives:

-- Express appreciation for strong U.S.-Djiboutian
cooperation on maritime security and in the continued
operation of Camp Lemonier.

-- Note that piracy directly impacts regional trade and
security and the operation of Djibouti's newly expanded port
facility, constraining Djibouti's ability to develop its full
potential as a maritime commercial hub for the western Indian
Ocean region.

-- Assess GOD willingness to expand bilateral cooperation
with the United States to strengthen Djiboutian maritime
operational and judicial capacities.

-- Ask the GOD for information on other donor assistance for
developing judicial capacities and supporting maritime
operations or capacity development.

-- Note that Djibouti could play a key role in combating
piracy in the Horn of Africa by prosecuting suspected pirates.

-- Stress that an effective method to deal with captured
pirates (PUCs) is a key element of a strategy to combat
piracy. Progress in addressing this need would help create
the conditions to more effectively combat piracy through
increased patrols and willingness to detain pirates.

-- Inquire into GOD willingness to support implementation of
UN Security Council Resolutions 1816 and 1838 and
international counterpiracy operations, especially by
prosecuting piracy suspects detained in counterpiracy
operations in international waters in the Gulf of Aden or in
waters off the coast of Somalia.

-- Draw Djibouti's attention to articles 7 and 8 of the 1988
Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the
Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA), to which it is already
party. SUA obliges coastal State Parties to accept custody of
persons suspected of committing offenses under SUA, including
pirates, unless they can articulate why the Convention is not
applicable. Once a suspect is delivered, the receiving State
has a further obligation to conduct an immediate inquiry into
the case, to notify other states that might have
jurisdiction, and subsequently (if warranted) to either
extradite the suspect to another SUA State Party or submit
the case to its own authorities for purpose of prosecution.
Note that that the Convention provides an existing framework
for the disposition of interdicted pirates in the region. In
addition, victim flag and crew States outside the region may
be in a position to extradite under SUA if Djibouti and other
regional States are willing to receive pirate defendants ashor
e. Under SUA, the United States would like to deliver piracy
suspects captured in Horn of Africa counterpiracy operations
to Djibouti and other States affected by piracy for detention
and/or prosecution and incarceration. If piracy suspects were
captured in a case involving American citizens or a
U.S.-flagged or owned vessel, we would confer with our
Department of Justice to determine whether the United States
would take jurisdiction over the case.

BACKGROUND
----------

3. The growth of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and in waters
off the coast of Somalia has emerged as a serious threat to
international commerce, the safety of mariners, and the
delivery of humanitarian assistance to Somalia. Pirate
attacks in these waters have more than doubled since 2007.
Pirates are now receiving million-dollar ransoms for hijacked
vessels and are becoming more aggressive and assertive at sea.

4. Funds generated from ransoms may be contributing to
conflict and supporting continued instability in Somalia.
Piracy is also threatening the fragile delivery of
humanitarian assistance to Somalia, as commercial vessel
operators have refused to deliver World Food Program (WFP)
commodities to Mogadishu without naval escorts to deter
piracy.

5. Djibouti has not previously prosecuted Somali piracy
suspects arrested by the United States, but there is a
regional precedent for such cooperation. On November 18,
Kenya took into custody eight suspected pirates captured in
the Gulf of Aden by British naval forces on November 11. In
January 2006, the USS Winston Churchill captured 10 Somali
pirates who attacked the M/V DELTA RANGER and who had also
hijacked the cargo dhow SAFINA AL BISARAT several days
earlier. A disposition agreement was negotiated between the
United States and Kenya within 48 hours and the suspects were
brought to Mombasa several days later. In October 2006, the
pirates were convicted and sentenced to seven years in Kenyan
prison.

6. UN Security Council Resolution 1816 calls for
international cooperation in combating piracy and armed
robbery at sea in waters off the coast of Somalia, and
provides authorization for countries cooperating with
Somalia's Transitional Federal Government to enter Somali
territorial waters and to use all necessary means to repress
piracy and armed robbery at sea. Resolution 1838 also calls
for international cooperation in combating piracy and armed
robbery at sea in waters off Somalia.


REPORTING DEADLINE
------------------

7. Department greatly appreciates Post's continued support
and assistance. Department requests action addressee report
on results of efforts by front-channel cable slugged for
AF/RSA Jun Bando, AF/RSA Col. Michael Skardon, and AF/E
William Schofield by Friday December 5.


DEPARTMENT POINTS OF CONTACT
----------------

8. Please contact AF/RSA Jun Bando at (202) 647-5781, AF/RSA
Col. Michael Skardon at (202) 647-7371, or AF/E William
Schofield at (202) 647-5082 or via e-mail for any necessary
further background information or argumentation to meet
demarche objectives.
RICE

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