Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Somali president offers amnesty to pirates

28 February 2013, 18:06

Mogadishu - Somalia's president has offered an amnesty to young pirates in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation's coast as he seeks to rebuild the war-torn country, he told AFP.

"We have been negotiating with the pirates indirectly through the elders," said President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. "Piracy has to end."

Mohamud, elected by lawmakers six months ago, said that he wanted to offer an "alternative means of earning a living" to young Somalis who have taken up the gun to join pirate gangs.

However, Mohamud said that the amnesty was not open to pirate kingpins - those who take the vast majority of the profits from the attacks - some of whom are wanted by Interpol.

"We are not giving them amnesty, the amnesty is for the boys," he said, speaking on Wednesday in an interview at Villa Somalia, the Italian colonial art-deco palace in war-ravaged capital Mogadishu.

Somalia has been battered by conflict since 1991 but a new UN-backed government took power in September, ending eight years of transitional rule by a corruption-riddled administration.

Large parts of the country have been carved up by rival militias who have developed autonomous regions that pay little, if any, heed to the weak central government.

Many of the most notorious pirates, who launched attacks far across the Indian Ocean earning millions of dollars in international ransoms, are based along the northern coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.

The amnesty comes amid a sharp drop in the number of pirate attacks in Somalia, which are at a three-year low, thanks to beefed up naval patrols and teams of armed security guards aboard ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

However, while the pirates have lost ground, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) still warns that Somalia's waters remain extremely high-risk.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mohammed Yussuf
MPs want prisoners to vote in 201...

Prisoners will have a chance to vote in the next general elections if recommendations by the Parliamentary committee on Administration and National security to have the prisoners given a chance to elect their representatives sails through. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Victory for Ruto as ICC throws ou...

Deputy President William Ruto has won big as the ICC appeals chamber rejects use of recanted evidence in the case against DP Ruto and Joshua arap Sang. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Colleagues eulogize KDF soldier k...

Kevin Ouma died in Al Adde Somalia in an attack by Al Shabaab militants on his KDF camp. His colleagues say he was a brilliant man and passionate soldier. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Why Sossion does not want perform...

KNUT boss Wilson Sossion has promised that teachers will go on strike if they are forced to sign performance contracts. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Munya turns down Uhuru's Jubilee ...

Meru Governor Peter Munya has told President Uhuru Kenyatta he does not wish to join the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Why Nairobi church elder committe...

A church elder and businessman committed suicide in Nairobi but why? Read more...