Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A top pirate leader in Somalia has been given a diplomatic passport by the country’s president, according to a U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia report to the Security Council seen by Reuters.Pirate leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan “Afweyne” reportedly showed the passport to immigration officers in Malaysia and produced a document that showed he worked in counter-piracy activities. The report said that the passport had been given “with the authorization of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed”. Afweyne is just one of many pirates that the government is accused of sheltering.
Pirate attacks on merchant ships have dropped to their lowest rates since 2008, in part due to tougher naval action and the use of private armed guards, but also because of deals the Somalian government is believed to have cut with notable pirates.
Afwyene has been described as one of the “founding figures of modern day Somali piracy”.
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