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PUNTLAND MARITIME POLICE FORCE (PMPF): FACT SHEET

The formation of the PMPF is a direct response to international calls for urgent action to address the grave threat posed by piracy off the Horn of Africa

  • April 2011: Participants at the United Arab Emirates high-level Counter-Piracy Conference unanimously concluded that “Maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea continue to represent a grave threat to Somalia and other states in the region, as well as to worldwide international navigation, the safety of global commercial maritime routes, and the safety of seafarers and other persons.”
  • October 2011: Assistant U.N. Secretary-General for Political Affairs Taye-Brook Zerihoun described international efforts to stop Somali pirates as “unprecedented.” Nevertheless, he said those efforts are “insufficient” and called for member states and international actors to “redouble their efforts.”
  • January 2011: A major UN report concluded that “the race between the pirates and the international community is progressively being won by the pirate,” therefore, “the status quo is … no longer satisfactory,” and the “Extreme gravity of the situation requires emergency remedies.”
  • November 2011: UAE Ambassador to the UN states, “the phenomenon of piracy and its negative consequences continue to constitute a major threat not only to Somalia and other countries in the region, but also to international maritime traffic and trade as a whole . . . Countering piracy cannot be effective without creating the fundamental changes in areas of stability and security in the Somali territory. Therefore, we urge the international community to provide the necessary funding for all initiatives and projects aiming at capacity-building of Somalia.”
  • October 2011: UK Prime Minister David Cameron noted “The extent of hijack and ransom on ships round the Horn of Africa is a complete stain on our world . . . The rest of the world needs to come together with much more vigour.”
  • March 2011: Thirty maritime industry organizations launch Save Our Seafarers campaign to raise awareness of the human and economic costs of piracy.
  • Numerous UN Security Council Resolutions in recent years, such as UNSCR 1950 (2010), indicate that the UN remains “gravely concerned” by the ongoing threat posed by piracy and armed robbery at sea.

The UN has repeatedly made clear that it strongly supports Puntland and other Somali authorities playing the primary role in eradicating piracy

  • UN Security Council Resolution 2015 (2011) “recognizes the primary role of the. . . relevant Somalia regional authorities in eradicating piracy off the coast of Somalia.”
  • UN Security Council Resolution 1976 (2011) urges that “regional authorities in Somalia” increase their efforts to establish “a system of governance, rule of law, and police control in lawless areas where land-based activities related to piracy are taking place.”
  • October 2011: Secretary General Report with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia commended the commitment of Puntland and other authorities “to work together to develop maritime security, counter-piracy policy and legislation, and protection measures regarding Somali natural resources.  Activities to facilitate these goals include . . . the establishment of a maritime law enforcement capacity.”  Further, the report favorably noted Puntland’s attempt to seek “international assistance to develop a coastguard capability and coastal monitoring stations.”
  • September 2011: Statement of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Somalia: “There is a growing need to deliver Somali capacity to deal with its own piracy problem . . . Stopping it has to be a combination of police capacity in the coastal area primarily but not limited to the land environment.  And secondly offering an alternative…this could very well be training and employing local capacity as Maritime Police/Coastguards as an alternative to joining the pirate gangs . . . I welcome the strong stance that President Farole has taken against these criminals in Puntland.”

There is wide-spread recognition that piracy off the Horn of Africa requires a comprehensive response, including land-based initiatives

  • October 2011: Call from the UN Secretary-General encouraging contributions “to address the root causes of piracy, including through developing land-based initiatives to strengthen Somali and regional maritime and law enforcement capacity.”
  • April 2011: Consensus at UAE-hosted counter-piracy conference that that a comprehensive approach to combating piracy “should include the provision of coordinated training as well as material and financial resources to improve land-based security capacity.”
  • September 2011: Statement of the Contact Group on Somalia recognizing that a solution to piracy requires a comprehensive approach that would address the political, security and socio-economic root causes in Somalia and the protection of maritime resources.
  • July 2011: Statement of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia “agree[ing] with the UN Secretary-General that coordinated and complementary efforts that help address the root causes on land are pivotal.”
  • February 2011: International Maritime Organization commits to “help tackle the root causes of piracy through the provision of assistance to States for the development of their maritime capacities and the protection of their maritime resources. And, in the case of Somalia, to contribute, in any way possible (including through the potential development of a coastal monitoring force) to the stability of the country, which in due course, will also have a beneficial impact on safety, security and stability.”
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