Pirates

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You may have read that a prison just for pirates opened recently, financed with UN money and appropriately located in Somaliland, the self-declared autonomous region of Somalia.

Somali pirates arrested by French commandos, photo via justfoodnow.com

A UN rep laments that they needed to build the prison because while countries will hold trials for stateless people, like pirates roaming the high seas, no one wants to make room for them in their prisons. So the UN decided to build one special.

This story, making the news wire rounds, puts Somali pirates in particular back in the international spotlight. It’s been a while, but you may recall the international melee a few years back when pirates off the coast of Somalia kept kidnapping Europeans and demanding high ransoms for their return. The most interesting part of the story, from a trash perspective, is that these pirates claimed to be defending African waters from the illegal dumping of toxic chemicals by huge European corporations.

As Bloomberg reports, the class, trash and power issues run deep:

Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia carried out 15 of the 16 hijackings at sea this year, according to figures released by the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center on March 24. There are currently 28 seized vessels with 576 hostages held by Somali pirates, the bureau said.

Piracy has flourished off the coast of the Horn of African nation, where a two-decade long war has left the country with no effective government and a moribund economy. Remittances from overseas workers of about $1 billion a year are the country’s main source of revenue, according to the London-based charity World Vision, which runs health, water and education projects in Somalia.

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10 Responses to “Pirates”

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    TRA$H with a dollar sign: good one! Didn’t realize there was a trash angle to the Somali pirate story. Interesting.

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