The president of the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia Abdiweli Ali has sacked the head of anti-piracy operations in the wake of last week’s hijacking of a Dubai-controlled tanker. The president claimed Abdirizak Dirir was fired as there was “a need for change and redoubling efforts to fight Puntland’s piracy” – a claim rejected by the ex-anti-piracy boss. Interviewed by Reuters, Dirir claims he was given the boot for linking the attack with illegal fishing.
“The problem with Puntland is that if you talk about illegal fishing, you are seen as a criminal.
“But I will not stop talking about illegal fishing because if this is not stopped, piracy will restart again,” he told Reuters.
The Aris 13 – and its eight Sri Lankan crew – were freed after 72 hours with no ransom paid. It was the
The UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group said last October it was “concerned that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by foreign vessels may re-establish the conflict dynamic with local fishing communities that contributed to the rise of piracy a decade ago”.