Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Somali president offers amnesty to pirates

28 February 2013, 14:34

Mogadishu - Somalia's president has offered an amnesty to young pirates in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation's coast as he seeks to rebuild the war-torn country, he told AFP.

"We have been negotiating with the pirates indirectly through the elders," said President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. "Piracy has to end."

Mohamud, elected by lawmakers six months ago, said that he wanted to offer an "alternative means of earning a living" to young Somalis who have taken up the gun to join pirate gangs.

However, Mohamud said that the amnesty was not open to pirate kingpins - those who take the vast majority of the profits from the attacks - some of whom are wanted by Interpol.

"We are not giving them amnesty, the amnesty is for the boys," he said, speaking on Wednesday in an interview at Villa Somalia, the Italian colonial art-deco palace in war-ravaged capital Mogadishu.

Somalia has been battered by conflict since 1991 but a new UN-backed government took power in September, ending eight years of transitional rule by a corruption-riddled administration.

Large parts of the country have been carved up by rival militias who have developed autonomous regions that pay little, if any, heed to the weak central government.

Many of the most notorious pirates, who launched attacks far across the Indian Ocean earning millions of dollars in international ransoms, are based along the northern coastline of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.

The amnesty comes amid a sharp drop in the number of pirate attacks in Somalia, which are at a three-year low, thanks to beefed up naval patrols and teams of armed security guards aboard ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

However, while the pirates have lost ground, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) still warns that Somalia's waters remain extremely high-risk.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...