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Vol 106 / Issue 33 - 34

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FOCUS PIRACY MOMBASA, KENYA T hree years ago, Isse Yuluh's pirate gang hijacked a yacht being sailed around the world by a Danish fami- ly with three teens. The Danes were eventually freed for a ransom of $3 million. Mr. Yuluh went to sea again. This time he returned to his beachfront base in northern Somalia with a Liberian-fagged oil tanker and an Emirati chemicals carrier, and their 48 crew members, in tow. After negotiations that lasted 10 months, and a handover of $12 million, all were released. But despite being one of Somalia's most feared and wealthiest gang leaders, Yuluh announced in May that he had "renounced piracy" and would tell his "fellow comrades to leave this dirty business, too." Yuluh is not the frst and not the only pirate to quit. Mohamed Abdi Hassan, an- other notorious pirate nicknamed Afweyne, or "Big Mouth," said earlier he was getting out of the game. Things are changing in East Africa's high-profle pirate business: A combination of greater force at sea and swifter justice on land means the bottom has fallen out of the kind of Somali piracy vividly depicted in "Captain Phillips," the 2013 flm about the hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. In 2011 at the height of piracy, 237 at - tacks took place in the zone of the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea, and the northwest In- dian Ocean. So far in 2014, there have been seven attacks, all of which failed, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The number of pirate hostages has also dropped, from 1,206 in 2011 to 38 today. In June, 11 sailors from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran, and India were freed after near- ly four years, with little or no ransom paid. "With a few very small exceptions, we've had two years now without any successful piracy attacks," says Alan Cole, regional co- ordinator of the maritime crime program for the United Nations Offce on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). "What's happened is that the odds of suc- cess for the pirates have dropped, and it's become an increasingly hazardous business to be in," Mr. Cole adds. "The chance of getting killed or captured is pretty high now, and watching so many men disappear off A once-lucrative game has become one in which the risks outweigh the rewards. BY MIKE PFLANZ / CORRESPONDENT A threat to shipping, tamed – for now ABDIQANI HASSAN/REUTERS/FILE WHY IT MAT TERS Besides curbing a crime that carries a human cost, wresting shipping lanes from pirates eases the fow of com - merce and lessens the need for big insurance payouts, the costs of which ripple through the global supply chain. DETERRENT: Somali forces patrolled the Gulf of Aden within sight of a French naval vessel near the Port of Bosaso. Hijackings have declined dramatically. V NEXT PAGE THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR WEEKLY | JULY 7 & 14, 2014 21

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