PIRACY | Somali pirates struggle to ‘quit’

Safety at Sea International | 2010.10.11

SOMALI pirates struggle to give up criminal activity because little other opportunity in the country, an author of a new report has told Fairplay.

The study from the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development in Eastern Africa examined the root causes of Somali piracy, the main players involved and the best ways of tackling the problem to ensure the safety of shipping in the region.

One of the report’s authors told Fairplay that the authority’s team consulted extensively in Puntland and spoke to former pirates and convicted pirates in prison in Somalia. Family and community leaders were often able to persuade pirates to renounce their “immoral lifestyle”, he said, but without work opportunities, former pirates were likely to slip back into a life of maritime crime.

The report also noted that a slogan of “quit piracy and live a decent life” was used by communities in Puntland to oust pirates from their stronghold in Eyl.

The international naval strategy aimed at tackling Somali piracy came under fire from the authority for failing to resolve the root causes of piracy, which it outlined as illegal fishing and waste dumping in Somali waters, unemployment and poverty.

The organisation recommended that the international community consult local people when attempting to prevent further pirate attacks in the area.

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