Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

American company to fight pirates off Somalia

NAIROBI, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The Somali government has signed a two-year contract with an American marine security company in a bid to end an upsurge of piracy off the lawless Horn of Africa country, officials said on Friday.
Waters off the coast of Somalia are considered among the most dangerous in the world. Pirates firing rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns earlier this month tried to board a U.S.-owned cruise liner about 100 miles (160 km) off the Somali coast.
New York-based Topcat Marine Security Inc. signed a deal worth more than $50 million with the Somali Transitional Federal Government in Nairobi to escort ships plying Somali waters.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi, who witnessed the deal, said his government recognised the damage caused by pirates and hoped Topcat would help end the piracy menace."The agreement signed today will defend Somalia's territorial waters, defeat the pirates," Gedi said, "The government wishes to express its dismay at these abhorrent actions.
"Peter Casini, Topcat's head of research and development, said once in operation his company would target a mother ship used by the pirates to launch attacks on passing vessels."We will end the piracy very quickly, there is no question about that," Casini told reporters. "There is a ship that is launching small ships 75 to 100 miles from the shore, our goal is to take the mother ship."The International Maritime Board has said that after two years of relative calm, 32 pirate attacks had been reported in Somalia since mid-March.Somalia has been without a central government since 1991, when rival warlords ousted Mohamed Siad Barre.
Source: Reuters
The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "the Center for Peace and Democracy in Somalia (CPD)"

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