Garowe, Somalia — An opening ceremony for an anti-piracy advocacy campaign was held in the capital of Puntland, Garowe, and was attended by special guests from all over the Puntland regions, Garowe Online reports.
Many government officials attended the event held on Wednesday including Puntland Vice President Abdisamad Ali Shire, Minister of Ports, Marine Transportation and Counter-Piracy Saeed Mohamed Ragge, Minister of Justice Abdi Khalif Ajayo, Minister of Youth Abdiweli Indoguran, Director of the Counter-Piracy Directorate Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, members of parliament, governors and other government officials.
Invitations were extended to many civil society members such as traditional elders, women groups and youth from across the 8 regions in Puntland.
The event was held at Puntland Development and Research Center (PDRC) where the director Dr. Abdirahman Abdule Shuuke was a special speaker at the opening of the awareness campaign which will last for 1 year.
Vice President Shire who opened the ceremony thanked UNODC, PDRC and the various agencies for their efforts in fighting piracy in Puntland.
Director of the Counter Piracy directorate welcomed all the guests who traveled to attend the opening ceremony in Garowe.
"I want to personally welcome the guests who traveled from all the 8 regions to attend this important event discussing the accomplishments and the way forward," said Director Dirir.
Director Dirir also spoke of the recent achievements including the opening of the new jails in Qardo and Garowe and the transferring of piracy convicts being held outside of Puntland to these new jails.
Minister Ragge who also was a special speaker at the event commended the governors for their role in fighting piracy in Puntland.
Governor of Mudug region Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey who represented all regional governors at the event, spoke about the progress in fighting pirates in the region and the recent operations by the Puntland Maritime Police Forces (PMPF) in Mudug.
"The affects of piracy have been felt on the ground; the brunt of the problem has affected families and societies in Puntland, there are many who lost their lives to piracy some who have lost their freedom. We can't let this cancer spread and campaigns like these and previous ones will prevent that from happening," said Governor Tigey.
The awareness campaign is being funded by UNODC and will run for 1 year.