Somali President Gave Top Pirate Diplomatic Passport to Block Arrest

UN Complains Regime 'Shielding' Top Pirates

The self-proclaimed Somali government has never had a more tireless advocate than the United Nations, which has been cheering them ever since they were a group of exiles hanging out in a Kenyan hotel. The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia, however, is pushing a new “confidential” report that throws this relationship into serious doubt.

The report claims that they have obtained evidence that President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed gave a special “diplomatic passport” to one of the top leaders of a Somali pirate faction, preventing the international community from arresting him when he traveled abroad.

The pirate king in question, Mohamed Abdil Hassan Afweyne arrived in Malaysia on a trip in April, waving the passport around and bragging that it was given to him on direct orders of President Ahmed, nominally so he would engage in “counter-piracy.”

President Ahmed his written a letter to the UN condemning the report as “one-sided,” though he didn’t appear to contest any of the actual allegations in the document. Somali officials have so far declined comment on the issue to the media.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of