President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, left, has shielded a top pirate leader from arrest by issuing him a diplomatic passport, according to a United Nations inquiry, which criticizes the “climate of impunity” enjoyed by pirate kingpins in Somalia and abroad.
The United Nations Monitoring Group on Somalia said in a report to the Security Council that senior pirate leaders were benefiting from high-level protection from Somali authorities and were not being sufficiently sought by international authorities. The group said a diplomatic passport had been provided “with the authorization of” Mr. Ahmed to Mohamed Abdi Hassan, a pirate leader also known as Afweyne, who presented it to authorities in Malaysia on a trip there in April.
The report said Mr. Ahmed said the passport was “one of several inducements” for Afweyne aimed at dismantling his pirate network. Mr. Ahmed, in a letter to the chairman of the Security Council Sanctions Committee, called the report “one-sided” and described its contents as “unsubstantiated allegations.”