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The USA wants to act to promote private guards (update)

(BRUSSELS2) US ambassadors have received an information notice to encourage the use of private armed guards on merchant ships cruising off the coast of Somalia. A notice signed by Hillary Clinton, which testifies to a reversal of the US Secretary of State, as well as the note Somalia Report which reveals the information.

Ambassadors are therefore requested to approach governments and/or members of the maritime industry in their country to encourage them to use Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP)”, clearly private contractors. Although several countries have authorized the use of private guards on merchant ships flying their flag, this simple authorization is not enough to facilitate this use. It is still necessary that the transit or port countries authorize the carrying of weapons on these ships. Which is not the case everywhere. Thus Egypt - which controls the Suez Canal - prohibits the presence of weapons or armed guards. Or at least forbade it. Because this ban has just been lifted - as reported Jean Guisnel (Le Point) - with a frame (notification by letter of the different weapons). Others restrict the use of these weapons in their port. Finally, several countries - such as Eritrea and Somalia - are subject to an international arms embargo.

A version officially confirmed by Andrew J. Shapiro, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Politico-Military Affairs, during a meeting attended by several diplomats from European countries (British, Dutch and Swedish in particular) which was held at the Secretariat of State, November 9. The reason for this change is simple, he says: it is difficult for international naval forces in the region to protect every merchant vessel; And so far no ship with an armed security team has been hacked. Shapiro thus believes that the relative decline in the number of boat captures is due to “ the increasing use of armed security teams ».

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).