MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 15 (UPI) -- The United Nations said Wednesday that despite successes in countering Somali pirates, the international effort should be paired with development in Somalia.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, U.N. special representative in Somalia, said in a statement released Wednesday that the increased maritime presence in the Gulf of Aden has helped to "marginalize and suppress piracy," the United Nations reported.
Ould-Abdallah cited the success of the recent naval operations by the United States and France, but he warned that the large operational area makes countering piracy an ongoing difficulty.
"Without the maritime presence, the pandemic would have been far worse," Ould-Abdallah said in a statement.
"Those contributing to the international presence are doing an excellent job, but they have a huge area to cover."
Ould-Abdallah also said the increased international attention to Somalia's volatile coastal waters should be "complemented by credible development activity" in the region to address the root problems posed by the country's failed state.