‘It’s a pirate’s life for me’
A 25-year-old Somali pirate named Dahir Mohamed Hayeysi:
“I used to be a fisherman with a poor family that depended only on fishing.
The first day joining the pirates came into my mind was in 2006.
A group of our villagers, mainly fishermen I knew, were arming themselves.
One of them told me that they wanted to hijack ships, which he said were looting our sea resources.
He told me it was a national service with a lot of money in the end. Then I took my gun and joined them.
One last job
Piracy is not just easy money – it has many risks and difficulties.
Sometimes you spend months in the sea to hunt a ship and miss.
Sometimes when we are going to hijack a ship we face rough winds, and some of us get sick and some die.
Sometimes you fail in capturing and sometimes you come under threat by foreign navies, but all we do is venture.
Thousands of young desperate Somali [migrants] continue to risk their lives in the sea in search of a better life abroad.
So it is no surprise to see us in the same water, pirating in search of money – there is no difference.
We have local support; most of the people here depend on pirates directly or indirectly.
Because if there is a lot of money in the town they can get some through friendship, relatives or business.
Also our work is seen by many in the coastal villages as legal and we are viewed as heroes.
The only way the piracy can stop is if [Somalia] gets an effective government that can defend our fish.
And then we will disarm, give our boats to that government and will be ready to work.
Foreign navies can do nothing to stop piracy.”
A 25-year-old Somali pirate……
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