Somalia: U.S. Citizen Kidnapped
Question: What is the status of the American kidnapped in Somalia? Have we confirmed citizenship? Are we in touch with the family? What are we doing to assist?
Answer: The Department of State can confirm that a U.S. citizen has been kidnapped in northern Somalia. We remain concerned about the individual’s safety and well-being. We are working with contacts in Kenya and Somalia to ascertain further information and have been in contact with the individual’s family to provide all appropriate consular assistance.
The United States condemns kidnappings of any kind, and we call for the immediate release of all of the victims involved. Due to the privacy laws, we have no further information at this time.
Taking Diplomatic Action Against Piracy
Piracy off the coast of Somalia is a crime of growing global concern. Piracy has significant and direct implications for every nation, from rising danger to seafarers to impacts on humanitarian aid deliveries and global commerce. To address this shared security challenge, the United States is actively pursuing a broad, coordinated, and comprehensive multilateral approach to combating piracy focused on security, prevention, and deterrence.
The United States is proud to be a founding partner in the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Established in January 2009 pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1851, the Contact Group is a voluntary ad hoc international forum of more than 70 countries, organizations, and industry groups with a common interest in bringing pirates, their financiers and facilitators, to justice.
Among its accomplishments to date, the Contact Group has:
- Facilitated the operational coordination of an unprecedented international naval effort from more than 30 countries working together to protect transiting vessels.
- Partnered with the shipping industry to improve and promote the full implementation of Best Management Practices that merchant ships and crews can take to avoid, deter, delay, and counter pirate attacks.
- Worked to build the capacity of Somalia and other countries in the region to combat piracy, in particular by contributing to the UN Trust Fund Supporting Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia; and
- Launched a new Working Group aimed at disrupting the pirate enterprise ashore, including its associated financial networks, through approaches similar to those used to address other types of organized transnational crime networks.