As piracy off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and in the Indian Ocean becomes more prevalent, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has pledged its support to solving the issue.
According to MB.com.ph, “IMO Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos has assured Somalian Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke that the IMO is ready to assist Somalia in repressing piracy in the area.”
In January 2009, Somalia and other countries adopted the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden and Mitropoulos recently stressed the importance of its effective implementation. This code of conduct aims to ensure cooperation among its signatory countries concerning investigations, arrests and prosecution of pirates as well as rescue of ships, persons and property subjected to pirate attacks.
Prime Minister Sharmarke believes that piracy off the coast of Somalia needs not only to be undertaken by sea, but also by land. He said that pirates would be prosecuted within Somalia and that the country is reviewing its national legislation and would like help from the IMO. MB.com.ph reports that he requested assistance to halt attacks from the two main piracy networks – one in the central region of Somalia and one in Puntland.
The MB.com.ph also reported that “Mitropoulos said he, in conjunction with his counterparts at the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), would provide the requested aid and would ensure the IMO helps Somalia establish a national coast guard.