Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Somali Warlord: Crew of hijacked UN World Food Program ship will be tried

photo source
Another twist in the long-running saga of the M/V Semlow, captured by Somali pirates several weeks ago (around June 30). The latest crazy turn is reported here:
A regional Somali warlord said on Tuesday that the crew of a United Nations-chartered relief ship hijacked two months ago off the lawless country's eastern coast will be prosecuted for illegally entering Somali waters.

Mohamed Sheikh Ali, who the controls district off of which the vessel has been held by armed pirates since late June, said the 10-man crew of the MV Semlow will be tried under laws intended to protect the coast from illegal fishing and dumping.

"The laws were already in place before the arrest of the ship," said Ali, who claims the title of district commissioner for area in central Somalia around Haradere, the home region of the gunmen.

"The district introduced them to protect Somalia's fishing zones and prevent the dumping of chemical waste there," he said.

'The laws were already in place before the arrest of the ship'
Ali gave no details of the law nor any explanation of why the crew - who were transporting 850 tons of German - and Japanese-donated rice for the World Food Programme (WFP) to distribute to Somali tsunami victims - would be tried under it.

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