UN AUTHORIZES PATROLS AGAINST SOMALI PIRATES

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to authorize international ships to continue patrolling sea lanes off Somalia and protecting shipping in the Indian Ocean from pirates who continue to threaten the delivery of humanitarian aid and the safety of key maritime routes.

The resolution adopted Wednesday said counter-piracy efforts by states, regions, organizations, the maritime industry, the private sector, think tanks and civil society “have resulted in a sharp decline in pirate attacks as well as hijackings since 2011.”

But the council expressed grave concern at the threat that pirates still pose not only to commercial shipping but to fishing activities and the safety of seafarers. It also warned of “increased pirate capacities” and the expansion of their operations into the western Indian Ocean and adjacent seas.

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