Sarkozy: Avast ye scoundrels!
DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images With the forceful gallantry of a modern-day Errol Flynn, French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent in a unit of French troops to rescue two French natives who were captured by pirates while vacationing on their yacht earlier this month. This is the second such rescue operation France has initiated in the last five ...
DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
With the forceful gallantry of a modern-day Errol Flynn, French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent in a unit of French troops to rescue two French natives who were captured by pirates while vacationing on their yacht earlier this month. This is the second such rescue operation France has initiated in the last five months.
Even more rousing than Sarkozy’s heroic flair was his loud call for a crackdown on global piracy. Sarkozy’s announcement of the sailors’ safe return came with a stern warning and a little dig:
This operation is a warning to all those who indulge in this criminal activity. France will not allow crime to pay. I call on other countries to take their responsibilities as France has done twice.”
Illegal activity is on the rise and increasingly impeding humanitarian efforts to bring food and supplies to Somalia. The waters off the region’s coast are said to be the most dangerous in the world and the number of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden —54 this year alone — have recently increased. Somali pirates are still holding some 150 hostages and 15 ships in Eyl.
The EU announced yesterday that it will be establishing a maritime unit whose task will be “supporting the surveillance and protection activities carried out by some member states off the Somali coast.”
Once again Sarkozy has managed to nab the foreign policy spotlight, last week as Middle East mediator, this time as sheriff of the high seas. Where will his savvy policy-making take him next?
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