Somalia: American Mercenaries Will Put Down the Pirates

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December 2, 2005: Somali pirates are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransoms for hijacked ships. This is big money for poverty stricken Somalia, and the warlords are not going to readily give it up because of some foreign mercenaries. There is likely to be some sharp fighting before the Topcat organized coast guard gains control of the coast with its naval and air patrols. Six ships are still being held for ransom.

November 28, 2005: Pirates released the hijacked Kenyan ship " Torgelow", along with its crew. Apparently a ransom had been paid. The ship was seized on November 8th. Six other ships are still held by Somali pirates.

November 26, 2005: After payment of a ransom, pirates freed the Ukrainian freighter " Panagia" and its 22-member Ukrainian crew. The ship was seized by the pirates on October 18th.

November 25, 2005: After a year of very quiet negotiations, Somalia's Fisheries ministry and Topcat Marine Security signed, in Kenya, a two-year, $55 million agreement for Topcat to organize and run a coast guard for Somalia. Topcat is an American firm that provides equipment and training services for coastal security operations in the United States. Collecting fishing fees from fishing boats (who have been working Somalis coast illegally for years), is expected to pay for the deal, which will clear out the pirates as well. Most of the personnel will be Somali, which American Topcat personnel will hire, train and direct.

 

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