If you thought piracy belonged to the 19th century, think again. This year alone there have been at least 26 attacks by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The latest incident involves a Japanese ship (the Golden Nori) that had 23 crew and tens of thousands of tons of inflammable benzene.
The pirates are demanding a $ 1 million ransom or else they will kill the crew of the ship.The situation has been further complicated by the fact that according to a 1992 UN resolution establishing an arms embargo, foreign troops are not allowed to enter Somali waters.The UN regulations have made it difficult for the US navy and Kenyan authorities to fully police this region of the Indian ocean and end the piracy.
Keeping Somalia’s lawlessness within its borders has always been tricky. In the past the many fundamentalist thugs running around in the country mainly dealt in illegal arms and smuggled goods across the region but lately they seem have found a new lucrative business – piracy and kidnapping of foreigners for ransom.
As negotiations go on for the release of the hostages it has become apparent that the Somali problem cannot be ignored for long if peace and stability is to be achieved in the horn of Africa. And with the US keen to win the global assault on terror, the last thing it needs is a failed stage occupied by these extremist thugs.