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Cablegate: Demarche: Counter-Piracy Cooperation

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #1373 2922308
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 182303Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA IMMEDIATE 0000

UNCLAS STATE 111373

SIPDIS

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

SUMMARY
-------

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

OBJECTIVES
----------

2. Department requests Post expand discussion with the
Government of Kenya (GOK) 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:

-- Note that piracy directly impacts on regional trade and
security, and that ransom monies may be contributing to
conflict and continued instability in Somalia.

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

-- Express appreciation for strong U.S.-Kenya cooperation in
the 2006 M/V SAFINA AL BISARAT case, in which Kenyan
authorities prosecuted Somali piracy suspects arrested by the
United States.

-- Note that Kenya could play an important regional
leadership role in combating piracy in the Horn of Africa by
participating in counterpiracy operations and prosecuting
suspected pirates.

-- Inquire into GOK 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 Kenya'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
and extradite or prosecute SUA offenders, including pirates,
unless Parties can articulate why the Convention is not
applicable. Note that that the Convention provides an
existing framework for the disposition of interdicted pirates
in the region. If Kenya demonstrates leadership in
proceeding under this concept, the eight other contracting
parties to SUA in the region might similarly be persuaded to
take action consistent with existing obligations. Likewise,
many of the victim flag and crew States may be in a position
to extradite under SUA if Kenya and other regional States are
willing to receive pirate defendants ashore.

-- Inquire into GOK intentions to engage in counterpiracy
operations, including protection of World Food Program
deliveries to Somalia, in light of Kenyan Minister for
Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula's October 8 announcement that
the Kenyan Navy will be joining in international
counterpiracy efforts in the Horn of Africa.

-- Provide information on other potential donor partners who
can assist Kenya with developing judicial capacities and
supporting maritime operations or capacity development.


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. Kenya has previously prosecuted Somali piracy suspects
arrested by the United States. 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 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 calls upon
States and regional organizations to coordinate in
implementation of Resolutions 1814 and 1816.


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

7. (U) 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
Maria Beyzerov by October 27.

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

8. Please contact AF/RSA Jun Bando at (202) 647-4781, AF/RSA
Col. Michael Skardon at (202) 647-7371, or AF/E Maria
Beyzerov at (202) 647-6453 or via e-mail for any necessary
further background information or argumentation to meet
demarche objectives.
RICE

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