That Ukranian ship stocked with weapons? Still being held by Somali pirates. The BBC has an update today and some big picture information, including this, on the difficulties NATO troops will have patrolling for pirates, from a NATO spokesman:

Chief Nato spokesman James Appathurai said the crew [heading for Somali waters] would have a “full range of self-defence” measures at their disposal, including the “use of force”. But he admitted “what they are trying to do is complicated”.

“There are a host of pirates, but they don’t identify themselves with eye-patches and hook hands so it isn’t immediately obvious that they are pirates.”

Also worth a read: this BBC report from September on “Life in Somalia’s pirate town” of Eyl, “in the Somali region of Puntland”:

People put on ties and smart clothes. They arrive in land cruisers with their laptops, one saying he is the pirates’ accountant, another that he is their chief negotiator…

Eyl has become a town tailor-made for pirates - and their hostages.


Special restaurants have even been set up to prepare food for the crews of the hijacked ships.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.