From Pugwash to Puntland; Roger Makes Us Jolly!

November 18, 2008


Now men with guns is never a good thing, but we have to confess that we couldn’t help but smile to see the ‘Sirius Star’, a super tanker carrying 20 million barrels of Saudi Arabian oil, get snatched by Somalian pirates. Our hearts go out to the ship’s 25 crew-members, but Somalian pirates are professional and tend to treat their captives very well. The local economy of the port town of Eyl in Puntland, an independent Somalian state, is dependent on piracy and special restaurants have even been set up to prepare food for the crews of hijacked ships. The town is a safe-haven where very little is done to stop the pirates – leading to the suggestion that some people in the Puntland administration and beyond have links with them. This is understandable when you consider that the annual budget of Puntland, a region with a population of 2.4 million people, is just $20 million – and last year the pirates drew a further $30 million to the region through ransom demands. Piracy is hardly an ethical career choice – but the companies that the pirates hit are far from ethical themselves. As yet the Puntland pirates haven’t killed anyone, the oil companies on the other hand…


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