Somalia: Pirates Scare Away Famine Relief


March 17, 2006: One of the most difficult opponents to the new government are the Islamic Courts militias, and Islamic radicals who want to establish an Islamic republic. The Islamic radicals are still outgunned by the less religious warlords, but the Islamic Courts, who are less capricious and more humane than the warlords, are growing in popularity.

March 14, 2006: Lack of donations, and a growing number of refugees, has forced aid groups to reduce food aid to 230,000 Somali and Sudanese refugees in Kenya. It's worse inside Somalia, where foreign aid donors have come through with only ten percent of the money requested for buying food. Foreign donors see aid to Somalia as a waste, because of the pirates and bandits who steal the food aid before it can reach its destination.

Kenya also has problems with the persistent drought, which has Kenyan tribesmen on the Ugandan border fighting each other over scarce water supplies.

March 13, 2006: A UN food aid ship was attacked by pirates off the Somali coast, but managed to get away.

March 8, 2006: Somali pirates seized another fifty Yemeni fishermen, and their boats, off the coast. In the last week, twenty Yemeni fishing boats, and 83 crewmen, were seized by pirates, and released after the payment of ransom.

March 7, 2006: A large Indian ship was seized off the coast, along with its crew of 25. Negotiations are under way to ransom ship and crew.

March 4, 2006: An American UN relief worker was freed after being held captive for one day by gunmen. The UN official was seized because a Somali businessman because of a dispute with the the UN over a bill.


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