Tags: Fred, Piracy
I did not take the news story a week ago suggesting that Somali pirates were getting intel on passing ships seriously. However, now comes news suggesting that some of those involved in piracy off Somalia received professional training:
Pirate training in USSR? – A RETIRED rear admiral of the Soviet navy reportedly admitted today that some Somali pirates had been trained at USSR naval academies.
Sergey Bliznyuk told the Ukrainian newspaper Gazeta Po-Kievskiy that he had personally come across some men he now believes are behind many hijackings.
“There are many former military men among the Somalis who have perfected the tactics of sea combat,” he said. “The majority of these 40-50-year-olds were trained in the former Soviet Union.
“I myself taught at one point at a school in Baku [Azerbaijan], where we had 70-80 Somalis a year studying.”
Bliznyuk told the newspaper that Soviet officers had trained naval personnel from the government of President Siad Barre, who ruled Somalia in 1969-91 after a military coup.
Further, Bliznyuk told the newspaper: “The USSR taught not only Somali natives but also those of Yemen, Ethiopia and others. Who would have assumed then that they would turn against us?”
The notion of professionally trained seafarers turning pirates is not an isolated concern: at least one security company trained Puntland coastguards before Somalia’s government collapsed some years ago. – Fairplay Shipping News (Homepage)
If this is true, those who have received the training might be a good lead to those actively conducting these operations. Also, what is the possibility of using these people to fight piracy off their own coast? It has been suggested that the solution to Somalia’s pirate problem lies ashore. It seems that the number of starting places to do so has just increased greatly.
Posted by Fred Fry