The last 76 of 120 Somalis held in India for piracy offences have been released after serving up to seven years in jail.
The men arrived back in to Mogadishu’s international airport on Sunday and were greeted by government officials including the Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Mahdi Mohamed Guled Khadar.
All the men kneeled to kiss the runway as they got off the plane.
India’s navy captured the men off Somalia’s coast and they were charged with piracy. While in custody 2 of the prisoners died reportedly from diseases such as tuberculosis.
In early January this year, Somalia received the first batch of 41 returnees, some of them having completed their jail terms.
The incident comes off the back of an agreement signed in August last year between India and Somalia to transfer convicted pirates. India has previously provided Somalia with development support, including transport infrastructure.
Piracy is a global threat to the international shipping industry and poses a severe security risk to trade companies operating past the Somali waters and on to the Indian Ocean. Acts of piracy off the Somali coast rose after 2005, costing shipping companies billions of dollars, but have declined in recent years due to beefed-up naval patrols and greater security aboard merchant ships. However, a reduction in navy presence in the region has now heightened the likelihood of ships being attacked in the region.
ARX Maritime have designed anti-piracy barriers. They are a non lethal, and cost effective way to stop pirates boarding ships in high risk areas. For more information about the barriers or for advice about upcoming transits, contact ARX’s security consultants on +44 1313170048 or at firstname.lastname@example.org