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Kenya Seeks Support for Piracy Tribunal for Somalia

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Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga urged the international community to support the creation of a Somalia piracy tribunal that would possibly be backed by the United Nations.

Somali pirates carried out 34 of the 39 sea-hijackings worldwide in the first nine months of the year, as the number of seized vessels rose 11 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the International Maritime Bureau. International navies have been conducting anti-piracy patrols off Africa’s east coast and the Gulf of Aden since last year.

Kenya, which neighbors Somalia, has agreed to prosecute and jail pirates caught by U.K., U.S., European Union, Canadian, Danish and Chinese warships, Odinga told lawmakers in the capital, Nairobi, today. His comments were transmitted live on Kenya Broadcasting Corp. television.

“It is our hope that the international community will play an active role,” Odinga said. “We believe we have done our part in Kenya.”

Odinga said Kenya is proposing to convene a conference early next year to discuss the possibility of setting up a tribunal for Somali pirates “in a third state.”

Kenya will also push for more support for countries, including Seychelles, Mauritius and Tanzania, which have agreed to receive and try piracy suspects, Odinga said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ana Monteiro at amonteiro4@bloomberg.net.

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