Somali pirates hijacking

On March 14th, Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia. According to The Guardian this is the first hijacking of a large ship since 2012, and many local fishermen say this was a direct cause from the recent amount of foreign presence in Somalia. This hijacking has been the first takeover of a big ship in 5 whole years of peace.

The Guardian says they have interviewed elders and heard what they had to say about the hijacking. The elders said that the hijackers had been frustrated with the foreign fisherman recently, and said that the foreign fishermen had been illegally fishing in local waters and killing or catching all the fish either for game, or fun, instead of eating.

This sparked some conflict between the two groups of fishermen, and led to a few territorial issues. With the foreign fishermen excited and wanting to fish more and more of the exotic animals, they ruined the fishing for the local fishermen. This made the locals mad and they became frustrated, and this frustration eventually lead to the hijacking of the oil tanker.

A couple days after the hijacking, the oil tanker was released, with its crew, without any conditions. The release occurred after local elders and officials opened negotiations with the pirates. Somali pirates usually hijack ships and crew members for ransom, and generally do not kill their hostages.

According to The Guardian, the Puntland Maritime Police Force made an offer the Somali pirates couldn’t refuse, and they left the oil tanker and crew unscathed. The hijackers were also told that the oil tanker was from a Somali trader, and the hijackers no longer had any interest in the ransom money. The hijackers told the authorities that they only seized the ship because they wanted to protest about illegal fishing in the area that the foreign fishermen were doing in their waters.


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