UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay has condemned the hijacking of the a fishing vessel off the coast of Somalia Sunday.
The Pakistani vessel but sailing under the Iranian flag with a crew of 15 members was seized by Somali pirates and forces ro sailed towards a pirate enclave near El Hur in the semi-autonomous regions of Puntland.
“I condemn in the strongest terms any form of armed robbery or piracy at sea,” declared SRSG Kay. “While Somalia continues to experience significant political progress, significant security gains and efforts to advance economic recovery, I am concerned that any increase in piracy could erode the progress achieved to date,” said Kay.
Kay said the seizure becomes the third incident in recent months but there have been a several other attacks in the last two weeks.
Piracy has been curtailed over the last three years due to effective deterrence by international naval forces, privately armed security guards on board merchant ships, and mariners avoiding the high-risk area along the Somali coast.
While condemning the seizure noting that there was also a risk Somalia could be facing a resurgence of piracy, Kay also called on international vessels to obey Somalia’s Fisheries law and fully respect the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Somalia.