MV Iceberg 1

43 Pirates Arrested, Extensive Shore-Based Anti-Piracy Operations Continue in Somalia

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December 24, 2011
By JD, Somalia Report

GaracadPolice from Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland seized 43 pirates during operations against pirates in the village of Garacad in Puntland’s Mudug region, senior officials said. Officials gratefully acknowledge the assistance of local elders.Officials told Somalia Report that police seized the pirates along with their weapons and vessels, in the midst of planning new operations.

“We succeeded at clearing the pirates from the coasts around the Garacad village, we seized 43 pirates, some weapons and a number of boats. The operations are now ongoing,” Jama Mohamoud, commander of Police in Jariban District, told the press.Recent regional conferences on piracy were well-attended, and elders and traditional leaders from Garacad and Jariban areas have declared that they are ready to support operations against the pirates.

A police officer in Puntland told Somalia Report that the operations against pirates will be continue the coming days until the pirates are gone from the Garacad, Ceel Dhanaane and Jariban districts. “Now the police have evicted the pirates from Jariban district and Garacad village, and in coming days the police will clear out Ceel Dhanaane and with the help of residents remove pirates. We are demonstrating that Puntland is willing and ready to remove pirates from all regions,” officer Abshirayto told Somalia Report.

There have been several operations in recent months against pirates, with arrests of pirates and seizure of weapons, but no trials have taken place as yet. Although Puntland officials have claimed for months that they have removed the pirates from Garacad Village and despite the detention of a number of pirates and seizure of their weapons, there are still pirates using Garacad village as a hub. Eyewitnesses tell Somalia Report that there are hijacked vessels near Garacad village, including the Panamian-flagged MV Iceberg 1.

MV Iceberg 1
MV Iceberg 1 has been in pirate control since it was hijacked on 29 March 2010. At least one of the crew has committed suicide and the fate of the others are unknown at this time.

Reprinted with permission, (c) 2011 Somalia Report

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