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Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014 - 5:11:05 AM
Somalia: ‘Piracy Research’ Insult to Common Sense

Ministry of Maritime Transport, Ports and Counter-Piracy

Puntland State of Somalia




15 January 2012


A so-called research document, entitled “Treasure Mapped: Using Satellite Imagery to Track the Developmental Effects of Somali Piracy,” was published by UK-based Chattam House think-tank, in January 2012.


This document, which was supposed to be research funded by a UK university and the European Union, among other donors, eventually produced an unprofessional, highly prejudiced and defamatory document with the sole aim of unfairly targeting the reputation of Puntland State of Somalia and the Government’s counter-piracy efforts.


In studying this document, it becomes evident that the authors who prepared the research lack knowledge about Somalia’s culture, history and current affairs, and in particular Puntland State of Somalia.


It is common knowledge that the Government of Puntland has undertaken massive steps against pirates and the Government’s robust anti-piracy campaign is the most intense in Somalia. Puntland security forces have apprehended hundreds of pirates who are currently in Puntland prisons, including notorious pirate kingpins.


The researcher’s flawed assertion about urban growth in Puntland State is an insult to the ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurship, determination, and vision of the people of Puntland – including Puntland Diaspora communities. In reading this research, the reader comes out feeling that everything in Puntland – all the houses, vehicles, communications equipment, hotels – belong to pirates, whom the researcher absurdly argues “provide stability” and “help other entrepreneurs to trade more easily” (Page 7). Who on earth with a common sense could unashamedly state that criminals, such as pirates, produce stability and help trade in a country?


It seems the researcher’s romanticized version of pirates does not only insult the people of Puntland and readers with common sense – it adds insult to injury for the innocent seafarers released or those still being held in captivity by pirates, and for the ship-owners, and for international forces spending time and effort to fight piracy along Somalia’s shores in recent years.


Finally, Puntland Government shall pursue disciplinary action by Brunel University against the lecturer who produced a politically motivated and biased research with a heavy influence by a Somali political group with a particular agenda against Puntland State. The researcher’s lack of neutrality, objectivity and professionalism has produced research that damages the university’s image and profile.



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