Les pirates de la faim

NEW YORK – Le temps est compté pour la Somalie. Près de trois millions de personnes, soit un tiers de la population, est menacé par la famine. La mer, par laquelle arrivent la nourriture, les médicaments et d’autres composantes de l’aide humanitaire, est une voie d’approvisionnement vitale pour eux. Elle est aussi la source du problème.

A bord de vedettes rapides, des groupes de pirates des temps modernes, armés jusqu’aux dents, terrorisent les bateaux naviguant le long des côtes somaliennes. Au cours de l’année écoulée, ils ont attaqué plus de 50 navires, dérobant les cargaisons et détournant divers bateaux, des yachts privés aux pétroliers. Les rançons versées s’élèvent à quelques 100 millions de dollars par an.

Rien que la semaine dernière, un cargo ukrainien transportant de l’artillerie lourde, dont des chars d’assaut, a été détourné. Un cargo grec transportant des produits pétrochimiques a été saisi et un autre attaqué, ainsi qu’un pétrolier iranien. Les pirates détiennent plus d’une douzaine de bateaux prisonniers dans les ports somaliens.

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