CRF Blog

Puntland Is for Pirates

by Bill Hayes

In Puntland Is for Pirates for Foreign Policy magazine, Jillian Keenan looks at what happens to captured Somali pirates.

Pirates are often tried in countries like Seychelles and Mauritius, in whose waters they are caught, but those states don’t want to keep the convicted in their jails. The Somali government can’t reasonably take them, given its extreme volatility. Yet one place has been eager to house pirates: Somaliland, a self-declared independent (but internationally unrecognized) republic in northern Somalia that wants to prove its state-like qualities and relative security in the tumultuous Horn of Africa.

So the United Nations invested millions of dollars to build a prison in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital. Opened in 2010 and run by local authorities, it was the first new prison in the region in 30 years. [more]