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United Nations: Security Council Resolution Empowers States Combating Piracy to Conduct Land Operations in Somalia

(Jan. 8, 2009) On December 16, 2008, the United Nations Security Council adopted its fourth resolution since June on combating piracy off Somalia's coast. Unlike the others, however, the latest resolution “empowers states combating piracy to conduct operations on land in Somalia.” (UN Empowers Land Operations Against Somali Pirates, AFP, Dec. 17, 2008, available at

The unanimous Resolution 1851 was co-sponsored by Belgium, France, Greece, Liberia, and South Korea. It gives states and regional organizations battling piracy off Somalia's coast one year to act against the pirates inside Somalia, authorizing them to “undertake all necessary measures 'appropriate in Somalia' to interdict those using Somali territory to plan, facilitate or undertake such acts.” (Press Release, U.N. Security Council, Security Council Authorizes States to Use Land-Based Operations in Somalia, as Part of Fight Against Piracy off Coast, Unanimously Adopting 1851 (2008), SC9541 (Dec. 16, 2008), available at; AFP, supra; U.N. Security Council, Resolution 1851 (2008) (Dec. 16, 2008), S/RES/1851 (2008), available at