Thursday, March 16, 2017

Concerns about Revival of Somali Piracy

Reuters published on 15 March 2017 an article titled "Weapons Buildup, Anger Fuel Threat of Renewal of Somali Piracy" by Abdiqani Hassan.

The first successful hijacking since 2012 of a large commercial vessel off Somalia has raised new concerns about the return of Somali piracy. Somalis are blaming the resumption of foreign fishing in their waters. Some of the fishing vessels have obtained licenses from the Puntland government. Others reportedly are fishing illegally. The captured ship, however, was not a fishing vessel but a fuel tanker. There has also been an uptick in the importation of small arms to the region.

The Associated Press published on 17 March an article titled "Somali Pirates Release Oil Tanker and Crew, Officials Say" by Abdi Guled. Under pressure from local elders and officials, pirates released the ship and 8 Sri Lankan crew members without paying a ransom. Although the pirates were not arrested, this signals a willingness by Puntland officials to take a more robust approach in dealing with pirates.

Reuters published on 19 March 2017 an article titled "Somali Security Forces that Freed Pirated Ship Say NATO Must Do More" by Abdiqani Hassan. The vice president of Puntland noted that the Puntland Maritime Police Force freed the ship and called on NATO warships in the region to do more to stop illegal fishing off Somalia. In the past, NATO has said ending illegal fishing is not part of its mandate.

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