MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Somalia's new
unity government will solve the problem of piracy by creating a
maritime corridor through the country's territorial waters, the
Somali ambassador to Russia said on Thursday.
Mohammed Mahmud Handule said at a RIA Novosti news
conference that the Somali government had already worked out
the legal and technical issues involved in opening the corridor.
"The new [Somali] government will rigorously work on this
[problem of piracy]," he said. "We want to create a corridor
where from Point A all ships will be put in groups of 5-7, and
then our friends, including Russia, will escort them to Point
B. Vessels not travelling through that corridor will be
considered pirates or poachers."
Moderate Islamist Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was sworn in as
president of Somalia on January 31. His nomination for prime
minister, Western-educated and former UN employee Omar
Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, was approved by parliament on
According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least
120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom
payouts of around $150 million.
Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries,
including Russia, are involved in anti-piracy operations off
Somalia. The East African country has been ravaged by years of