Somali president offers amnesty to young pirates

MOGADISHU: Somalia’s president has offered an amnesty to young pirates in a bid to end attacks off the Horn of Africa nation’s coast, he told AFP.

“We have been negotiating with the pirates indirectly through the elders,” said President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. “Piracy has to end”.

Mohamud, elected by lawmakers six months ago, said that he wanted to offer an “alternative means of earning a living” to young Somalis who have taken up the gun to join pirate gangs.

However, Mohamud said that the amnesty was not open to pirate kingpins — those who take the vast majority of the profits from the attacks — some of whom are wanted by Interpol.

“We are not giving them amnesty, amnesty is for the boys,” he said.