US action against pirates considered
NAIROBI: The US considered taking military action against a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and anti-aircraft guns after it was hijacked by Somali pirates two years ago, according to a confidential cable released yesterday.
Condoleezza Rice, who was then secretary of state, cabled several US embassies and asked them to make clear to host governments Washington “reserves the right to take urgent action if necessary” to keep the weapons from the hands of Islamist militants in Somalia.
The US has rarely used military action after a vessel is seized because it could endanger the hostages. The newly leaked cables show how desperate the Bush administration was to prevent the arms from being diverted to Somalia.