Respect To The Pirates Of Somalia But Is This The Begining Of The End For The Town Of Eyl?
Somali pirates have become somewhat notorious over the last ten years or so with ever more daring raids upon cruise and cargo ships off the east coast of eastern Africa and Yemen. This month has seen their biggest haul yet with the capture of the Saudi oil tanker the Sirius Star carrying two million barrels of oil.
The usual practice for these pirates is to capture the vessel and then take it to the town of Eyl in Puntland northern Somalia. There are at present at least a dozen captured ship kept there at the moment. Once at Eyl the ship is docked and the crew are generally well looked after as the pirates enter into hostage negotiations for the safe return of vessel and crew. They ask anything up to US$1,000,000 for the ransom. Because of this the crews are normally well cared for. In fact in Ely there has even sprung up a restaurant mini-industry around catering for hostage crews.
The town of Eyl has traditionally been a safe haven for pirates but for how much longer? As the Sirius Star approaches port with its precious cargo will they be allowed to reach port? If they do will they be allowed to negotiate?
I get the distinct feeling we may see military action to ensure the return the lifeblood of western civilisation. If military action goes ahead will this spell the end of Eyl as a safe haven for the pirates?
We shall have to wait and see.