Mohamed Abdi Hassan (aka Afweyne), the ex-Somali pirate Kingpin once referred to by the United Nations as “one of the most notorious and influential leaders” in the Somali pirate business, is leading a charge that could potentially put an end to Somali piracy… at least according to Somali media reports.
According to bar-kulan.com, a group of former pirates in central Somalia under the leadership of Afweyne, have launched a grass-roots anti-piracy campaign and will seek out former colleagues in hopes of convincing them to give up their pirating ways.
As gCaptain reported earlier this month, Afweyne effectively retired as a Somali pirate kingpin after 8 successful years in the business and made a plea to his comrades, encouraging them to also give up the piracy trade.
We all know that the only real solution to piracy in the HoA region will be found on the shores of Somalia and, ironically, Afweyne and his followers might just be the key. Throughout his career, Afweyne and his gangs amassed millions of dollars in ransoms through some of the most high-profile hijackings in modern day piracy. Even the New York Times once recognized him for his prowess, describing him as a sophisticated, resourceful character who raised venture capital for his pirate operations “as if he were launching a Wall Street I.P.O.”
Whether or not the new anti-piracy group will have any real effect on the still active pirate gangs remains to be seen. Bar-kulan.com reports that the group will soon start touring areas along the pirates infested coastline in Galgadud, Mudug, Hobyo, Harardere, and Gaan.