PRESS RELEASE

29 May 2011 

Somalia: Puntland Government Dismisses Financial Times Report as Propaganda

The Government of Puntland State of Somalia categorically rejects a report published on 27 May 2011 by the Financial Times newspaper as propaganda.

The report, entitled “Britons held as ransom drop goes wrong,” insinuates that foreigners arrested at Mogadishu’s international airport for transporting ransom money intended to travel to Galkayo, Puntland’s southern city.

The Puntland Government underscores that no ransom payment travels through Puntland ports or airports. Further, the Government has no connection whatsoever with foreign security firms that transport ransom payments through international airports.

The Puntland Government has strongly and consistently opposed ransom payments, as recently emphasized on 25 May 2011 by the President of Puntland, H.E. Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Farole), during a speech presented to the U.N. Security Council in Nairobi.

The Government suspects that some politically motivated elements feed misinformation to major newspapers, such as the UK-based Financial Times.

It is noteworthy to mention that, since 2009, Somali piracy operations along Puntland coasts have decreased significantly due to the Puntland Government’s counter-piracy policy and efforts. Currently, there are 305 convicted pirates and piracy suspects awaiting trial in Puntland jails.