Somali pirate attacks down 75 percent

Africa
May 4 - Former pirates are calling on the international community's help. Many say they need new skills to get jobs. Piracy off the coast of East Africa has slowed down significantly. There have been no hijacks in almost a year now.
About 1,140 Somali pirates are in jail in 21 countries. Picture:

United Nations - A United States diplomat says the fight against Somali pirates has been so successful that there hasn't been a hijacking off the Somali coast, in the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean in nearly a year.

Donna Leigh Hopkins, who chairs the global group trying to combat Somali piracy, credits the combined efforts of international naval forces and stepped-up security on ships including the use of armed guards. Another factor is that 1,140 Somali pirates are in jail in 21 countries, she says.

"Pirate attacks are down by at least 75 percent," Hopkins said in an interview on Thursday with The Associated Press. "There are still pirate attacks being attempted but ... May 12 will be the one year anniversary of no successful hijacking off the coast of Somalia."

-Sapa

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