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Monday, November 22, 2010

British mercenaries to take on Somali pirates

Monday 22 November 2010

British mercenaries could be used in the fight against Somali pirates. 

According to secret documents revealed yesterday, the plan has the approval of the UK government’s Foreign Office.
The Daily Telegraph said that senior Foreign Office officials had held detailed discussions with a UK security firm employing former members of the elite Special Boat Service (SBS) about setting up and running the operation.
The plan would involve the former SBS soldiers training Somalis to take on the pirates along the Somalia coast but could also see them in action on Somali territory.
The Daily Telegraph said the proposal not only had the approval of the UK Foreign Office but also the transitional government in Mogadishu.
The report said that the ex-SBS men will act as ‘mentors’ to Somali troops on patrols going into action in armed encounters with the gangs.
“The plan is particularly sensitive because previous attempts to train Somali military recruits have seen them swap sides and join the pirates or Islamic insurgents, taking their weapons and equipment with them,” the report says.

It adds: “Operating in fast boats capable of outrunning the pirates’ converted fishing vessels, the plan is to retake the coastline and prevent the pirates from putting to sea or returning to shore with kidnap victims.”
The initiative also reflects growing western government frustration with the escalating pirate menace and the cost — in terms of naval protection and ransom payments.
But aid officials and seafarers unions say only dealing with poverty and insecurity in Somalia can solve the problem.

Source: Daily Naition

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