Go Get Those Pirates!
New deal would see Tanzania prosecute & jail pirates for the European Union in return for logistical, financial & military support
Tanzania and the European Union are on the verge of striking a deal that would see the former use its territory to charge, prosecute and jail pirates captured in Indian Ocean waters, according to a report in 'The Citizen' newspaper of Tanzania.
The EU, which provides logistical, financial and military support to fight piracy, is optimistic that Dar will sign the pirates’ transfer pact. Anything short of this will amount to losing credibility before the international community.While negotiations are in the final stages, the government should exercise great care so that a win-win situation can be achieved. Whether we can gain any geo-political or geo-economic benefits from the deal is open to debate.
Our capacity to handle the trials and provide the facilities to remand the convicts is also a matter of concern. The facts are that our prisons are congested and our judiciary faces financial constraints. In the circumstances, it would be wise of the EU to provide financial support.
A precedent was set last year when the EU spent at least 80 million euros (about Sh160 billion) on Somalia’s Operation Atalanta. We are optimistic that it will be in a position to finance the implementation of the agreement with Dar. There are risks involved, but they can be managed. The accomplices of the pirates, who would be prosecuted and jailed in Tanzania, would naturally see us as enemy number one, thus making our territory a potential target.
We are confident that our security forces have the capacity to defend our interests if threatened, as our brave navy proved recently by capturing armed Somali pirates who were planning to attack vessels in the Indian Ocean. There is no doubt that they would be charged and jailed. All we need do now is sign on the dotted line and get on with the job.