Addis Ababa (Alshahid) – Somali deputy Prime Minister Abdirahman Ibrahim Tuesday appealed to the African Union to help clear toxic waste dumped by foreign ships in the Somali coastline. He said fight against pirates should go hand in hand with clearing waste from the Somali waters.
“If the international community wants to limit acts of piracy, it has to help Somalis keep illegal foreign fishing and toxic waste dumping away from their coasts,” Deputy Prime Minister Abdirahman Adan Ibrahim told African Union maritime security experts gathered in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
“We appeal the delegates attending this assembly … to share with my government (the) clearance of toxic material and nuclear waste containers dumped in African coastal areas,” he added.
AU Infrastructure and Energy Commissioner Elham Ibrahim told the meeting the recent increase in both unlawful activities in African waters and in piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea has prompted African leaders to act “to rid the continent of these scourges which are undermining economic activity and the image of the continent”.
Pirates in the Indian Ocean have lately jacked many ships in the busiest trading routes, demanding for ransoms worth millions of dollars.
Most of these pirates operating in the semi autonomous state of puntland in Somalia have cited illegal fishing and dumping of toxic waste in Somali waters as one of their reasons of hijacking foreign ships in the busy route.