Somali Pirates Ransom Yacht Crew

April 07, 2008 03:37 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
French officials are negotiating with pirates who seized a yacht and its crew off the coast of Somalia last week. The area is notorious for piracy.

30-Second Summary

Pirates are holding 30 people, including 22 French nationals, who were captured when their yacht was boarded off the coast of Somalia last week. Bernard Kouchner, France’s foreign minister, told a French radio station that officials would do what they could to avoid bloodshed.

Somalia and Nigeria’s coasts are thought to be among the most dangerous in the world because of piracy, according to Reuters.

Piracy is alive and well throughout the world, and has been increasing in the past few years. There have been nearly 30 attacks or attempts on ships, mostly off the coasts of Africa and Southeast Asia, already in 2008.

For Somalia, which has long been plagued by violence and natural disasters, piracy means less aid for its citizens, as ships are reluctant to enter the country’s waters, says the UN.

Pirates have touched countries distant from the areas where they operate. One editorial writer for Hiiraan Online criticized the Danish government, which last year announced that it paid pirates in Somalia a ransom for the crew of the ship Danica White. The writer believes that if countries are going to pay ransoms, they should do so in secret to avoid sending a message that piracy is profitable.

Headline Links: 'Contact Made with Yacht Pirates'

Reference: Map of pirate attacks worldwide

Opinion & Analysis: Piracy undermines aid efforts, public ransom payments criticized


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