Marine News, November 30, 2011: The Ambassador of the Republic of Somalia to India, informed the press that a legislative framework would be put in place in order to tackle the Somali piracy menace during the “Global Maritime Security and Anti-Piracy Conference-2011” in Gandhinagar. Ebyan Mahamed Salah, Somalia’s Ambassador said, “An Anti-Piracy Legislation shall be in place by May 18, for an effective maritime security and counter piracy”. She also informed that Somalia has adopted a ‘National Security and Stabilization Plan’ which will be implemented by January 2012. Piracy in Somalia is posing a huge concern to companies operating vessels in that area. Fleet owners are forced to pay huge ransoms to protect their crew and vessels hijacked by pirates.

The areas most vulnerable to Somali pirate attacks are Gulf of Guinea, the Caribbean region, Gulf of Aden along with South and Central America. Ambassador Salah also revealed that a ‘Counter Piracy Coordinator’ would be appointed in December under a designated minister. She further elaborated that the government would also establish the Cost Guard and a Somali Maritime Police in order to secure Somali waters.

There are have also been concerns that the ransoms being collected by hijacking vessels in Somalia might be used for funding terror outfits such as ‘Al-Shabab’, which is an ‘Al-Qaeda’off-shoot. However, there is no evidence to substantiate this hunch. Salah added, “We don”t have evidence that funds go to Al-Shabab, thank god, otherwise it would have been a bigger issue”. She further stated, “Somalia has problem of sound financial institutions. So all money go there through hawala system. We are going to soon have a meeting in Dubai to tackle hawala”.