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  Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Somalia's new unity government will solve the problem of piracy
Somalia's new unity government will solve the problem of piracy by creating a maritime corridor through the country's territorial waters, the Somali ambassador to Russia said on Thursday.

Mohammed Mahmud Handule said at a RIA Novosti news conference that the Somali government had already worked out the legal and technical issues involved in opening the corridor.

"The new [Somali] government will rigorously work on this [problem of piracy]," he said. "We want to create a corridor where from Point A all ships will be put in groups of 5-7, and then our friends, including Russia, will escort them to Point B. Vessels not travelling through that corridor will be considered pirates or poachers."

Moderate Islamist Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was sworn in as president of Somalia on January 31. His nomination for prime minister, Western-educated and former UN employee Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was approved by parliament on February 14.

According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries, including Russia, are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia. The East African country has been ravaged by years of civil war.


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