Oddly enough - Plus side of piracy

28th November 2008 at 00:00

The rise of Somalia's sea pirates has had an educational benefit.

It is not their potential as a case study in geography - although they might liven up discussion about the African coast and oil shipping - but rather, they are helping to boost school attendance in Haradhere.

The village is the closest to where the Saudi Arabian supertanker carrying $100 million (Pounds 67m) in crude oil was hijacked last week.

It and other boom towns have benefited from the hijacking, as well as previous attacks on ships, as pirates have paid locals to keep them and their hostages stocked with food, alcohol and drugs.

This has helped to revive restaurants and other facilities, and given families the means to send their children to school once more.

Shamso Moalim, a 36-year-old mother of five in Haradhere, told the Associated Press: "Regardless of how the money is coming in - legally or illegally - I can say it has started a life in our town. Our children are not worrying about food now, and they go to schools in the morning and play soccer in the afternoon. They are happy."

So there is an upside.

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