The United Nations General Assembly held a day-long informal meeting to tackle piracy off the Somali coast on May 14. Assembly President Ali Treki urged the international community to support “a truly holistic approach” to combating piracy off the coast of war-torn Somalia that also addresses political, security, governance and humanitarian needs in the African nation. The Somali transitional government demanded an explanation from Russia as to why it set loose 10 Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden without navigation equipment and with little hope for survival. Russian forces arrested the 10 pirates during a rescue operation on a hijacked oil tanker. Abdirasak Aden, an official at Somalia’s Information Ministry, told Reuters that the pirates are still entitled to a fair trial.
Meanwhile, top U.N. envoy to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said the U.N. fully supports Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed’s move to form a new, “more effective” cabinet. He said he hopes that the new cabinet will help advance the Djibouti peace process by improving the delivery of services and beefing up transparency. Ould-Abdallah also called for national unity on the 67th anniversary of the Somali Youth League, the political party that played a role in the nation’s fight for independence from colonization.