Kirk Seeks Anti-Piracy Measures

Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) “has called for tough measures to be put in place to battle the scourge of piracy after four Americans were killed on their hijacked yacht by Somali pirates last week,” the AFP reports.

"The murder of four Americans shows the requirement for a tough response to Somali pirates," Republican Senator Mark Kirk said in a statement.

"This is a growing problem, not only victimizing innocent Americans handing out Bibles, but also the safe passage of oil-filled tankers bound for the United States."

Kirk, who is an “officer in the US Naval Reserves specializing in intelligence, is planning to visit the Horn of Africa in the coming months to examine anti-piracy efforts in the region.”

He has proposed several options including a ‘Pirate Exclusion Zone’ to allow the immediate boarding or sinking of any vessel from Somalia not approved by allied forces and a blockade of pirate-dominated ports like Hobyo in Somalia.

Kirk is also calling for a new legal regime to allow the trial and detention of pirates captured on the high seas, and broad powers to attack or arrest pirates once outside Somalia’s 12-mile territorial limit.

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