Somalia President calls for tougher anti-piracy actionBy ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Saturday, February 11 2012 at 13:19
Somalia’s President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed has said foreign navies have failed to stop piracy in in the waters off Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Speaking during the occasion to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Somalia’s coast guard force, the President Ahmed said, “As you know, there are many foreign navies around us but these have failed to eliminate piracy along our waters”.
Somalia’s coast guard went defunct when the central government of the late General Mohamed Siyad Barre collapsed. The Transitional Federal Government has been trying to revive it for the past 4 years.
However, the Somali coast guard is functioning with rudimentary gears that need improvement.
“I would urge them (the countries providing the foreign navies) to assist the Somali coast guard force,” President Ahmed said
“It is the best way of tacking the vicious piracy business,” he added.
Piracy in Somalia has become a lucrative business for burcad badeed (sea gangs) in Somalia over the past decade. Those venturing into the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden have managed to seize hundreds of ships carrying commercial and humanitarian goods.
Release of the ships and crews usually depend on payment of ransom, which the pirates had been increasing.
Observers believe that the more money the pirates get, the more sophisticated they became.
Pirates are also nonsense to the coastal communities. Elders, particularly from Central Somalia had repeatedly complained that the presence of pirates in the region has heightened insecurity, prostitution and drugs abuse.
Their lavish expenditure has also soared inflation.
Though the international navy has contributed to arrest of some pirates, the business is still thriving and observers are now saying that efforts at
sea alone may not yield the desirable results.
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