Work with Yemen govt on Somali piracy: US admiral

The international community should work with Yemen to stop its people supplying Somali pirates who are disrupting lucrative international shipping routes, a senior U.S. admiral said on Monday.
Somali pirates, who have disrupted lucrative international shipping trade, are getting fuel and engine parts from individuals in Yemen, Admiral Mark Fitzgerald, the top US naval officer for Africa, told Reuters.
NATO, the European Union and other nations including China and Russia have deployed warships to fight piracy and protect the multi-billion dollar shipping lanes plying the Gulf of Aden off east Africa.
The naval presence has helped deter pirates who are using Somalia as a springboard to launch audacious attacks and pocket millions of dollars in ransom. The Republic of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula is divided from Somalia by the Gulf of Aden.
“The fuel for instance, is coming from Yemen, a lot of the logistic supplies, things like motor boat engines (too)… And so we just need work with the government there to start tightening up controls,” Fitzgerald said.
“Its (support) not from the Yemen government, its from people in Yemen,” Fitzgerald said on the sidelines of an African naval conference in Cape Town, without giving further details.
Security experts say that while NATO and the EU operations can temporarily deter pirates, attacks will not stop until the rule of law returns to Somalia, which is fighting an Islamist insurgency and has had no effective government since 1991.
“How do you rebuild Somalia so that you really get to the root of the problem, because you are talking about people that don’t have any hope and are desperate to do things, and so they’ve turned to piracy,” Fitzgerald said. 
International naval forces or the threatened vessels themselves have foiled 24 of the 28 attacks so far this year, the French defence ministry said at the end of February.
Fitzgerald said NATO, the EU and other nations would continue sending navy ships to deter and arrest pirates.
“You are going to see a steady group of ships down there… It’s not a surge, its a constant pressure on them,” he said.
“We’ve put EU ships down there, we going to put another round of Nato ships down there… so I think every country is worried about it and we’ll see, time will tell.”
Beyond the Gulf of Aden, Fitzgerald said 18 different countries from Europe, Africa and South America were involved in the “Africa Partnership Station” to help beef up maritime security along the extensive African coastline, including radar sites and receivers linked together in a network.
Under the auspices of the partnership, Fitzgerald said Western countries were helping poorer African navies, mainly in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, with skills training, boat repairs and equipment supplies.