October 2, 2008

Somali Deputy Speaker Accuses Powerful Nations of Working With Pirates

Excerpt from report by Somalia's private commercial Radio Shabeelle on 2 October

[Presenter] Deputy speaker of the Somali parliament has said Somali pirates are being supported by powerful nations so that they can use them as an excuse to invade Somali waters. Bashir Qalif Gani has more details.

[Gani] Proffesor Muhammad Umar Dalha speaking to Shabeelle from Nairobi, Kenya, accused powerful nations whose warships are currently at the Somali coast of being complacent with the activities of the Somali pirates, so that they can take advantage of Somalia natural resources. Dalha said ransom money being given to the pirates is meant to strengthen their activities and enable them purchase more arms and equipments to be used in abducting of ships passing through the Gulf of Aden.

[Dalha] Money being given to pirates are being coordinated by men backed by some of the powerful nations. They are deliberately [words indistinct] in order to legitimizes [word indistinct] the long coast line. In Africa, Somalia has been unfortunate enough to bear the long coast line with natural resources, fisheries and petroleum to be illegally take them away under the guise of guarding the coast since there is no effective government to secure it. That is the excuse that is being used to legitamise their activities [illegal fishing]. The huge amounts of money being given to them [pirates] is meant to boost their business and strengthen their ability[words indistinct] . It is a strategy.

[Gani] The first deputy speaker of parliament also said the ransom money being given to the pirates can be used to finance the former Somali navy, but the powerful nations are not willing to, but instead want to spend it on the pirates whom they have secret relations with.

[Dalha] I would like to condemn the pirates. [Words indistinct].

[Gani] Yesterday, the president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somali condemned Somali pirates and said it is impossible to turn a blind eye on their activities. [Passage omitted- Background]

Originally published by Radio Shabeelle, Mogadishu in Somali 0500 2 Oct 08.

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