Somalia eyes coast guard, needs international help
Piracy-ridden Somalia's foreign minister has urged the international community to help the war-torn state set up its own coast guard to patrol offshore waters, according to an Associated Press report.
“We will be establishing a coast guard because this is essential for the establishment of the rule of law, both along the coastline and in Somali waters,” Foreign Minister Mohamed Omaar told AP.
Omaar was in Europe this week for a conference aimed at drumming up donations for peacekeeping forces in Somalia. The European Union is pledging nearly $80 million.
Somalia President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said he wants a police force of 10,000 and a separate security force of 6,000 to bring order to the largely lawless eastern African nation. Lack of order and desperate economic conditions have been chiefly blamed for pushing Somalian youths into piracy. Over the past year, Somalian pirates have attacked or hijacked dozens of ships from the Gulf of Aden to the waters off of Kenya.