When terrorist IRA group failed to kill Britain’s Margaret Thatcher in 1984 in a hotel bombing, they remarked that: ’Today, we were unlucky. But remember we have only to be #luckyonce. You (the British Gov’t) will have to be Lucky always.’
In recent times, Maritime terrorism has been a vehicle whereby pirates attack vessels, take the crew on board as hostages and demand ransom payment for their release. Such attacks make the sea #unsafe and cause countries to lose chunk of money and derail economic activities from the sea.
Apparently, a pirate incident which happened within Salone’s maritime zone some 2 wks ago is a case in point.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) breathes on the mantra of ’safe ships in clean oceans.’ When the sea is safe, legitimate commercial activities happen at speed.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Salone is a party to, provides a universal jurisdiction for the repression of piracy and pirate activities at Sea. In short, it legitimizes actions by State parties to intervene and seize a ship suspected of being taken over or controlled by pirates.
However, the UNCLOS provision lacks the ’norm creating character’ to make piracy a crime. It merely defines piracy. It doesn’t provide enforcement jurisdiction.
Pirates, unfortunately so, are most likely to be charged with armed robbery or such other criminal offences if they’re apprehended in Salone’s maritime zone. Prosecutors will explain better the uphill task they’ll face to prove such elements in such a circumstance.
Therefore, it is important, and maybe prudent and imperative, for Salone to RATIFY and DOMESTICATE the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) and its 2005 Protocol. This Convention makes acts of piracy including the seizure of ship, use of violence against its crew members and endangering the navigational capabilities/competence of a ship, as an offence punishable by law. It also provides for the extradition of pirates to other state parties where the offence took place.
Let’s FEEDS SALONE by making our Sea Safe and maximise the gains we can make from the Blue Economy