DUBAI // Give Somalia the funds and they will eliminate piracy within a year, their interim president has claimed.
Speaking today at the second UAE Counter-Piracy Conference in Dubai, the president of Somalia’s transitional federal government Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed called on the international community to spend money arming and organising their naval forces.
“These pirates do not live at sea, they live in Somalia. Who better to battle them than the people of the land,” he told delegates.
“We are completely ready to combat this problem. Despite our limited funds we are ready to train and set up a marine force that would attack and dispel all pirate activities.”
Piracy off the coast of Somalia is affecting an area of 2.5 million sq km, he said.
“We have between 5,000 and 6,000 men ready, and we want the international community to provide them with arms, materials and equipment,” he said.
The request, Mr Sharif said, would cost a third of what has been paid in ransom by shipping companies. Between 2008 and 2012, he said, profits worth US$700 million were made from piracy.
The international community should also help to protect Somalia’s maritime rights, he said. “Ships fishing in our water and companies dumping chemical waste on our shores have to be stopped. They have been taking advantage of our situation and the international community should help us stop them.”
To achieve that goal, he said the police force in Somalia needed upgrading, the judicial system need reform and infrastructure for jails needed to be developed.
This article was posted by Neptune Maritime Security via thenational.ae. MaritimeSecurity.Asia in cooperation with www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com