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Yearbook 2010

Somalia. After some slowdown in the first months of the year, piracy increased again. In November, at least 20 vessels with well over 400 crew members were reported to be in the pirates' violence. A number of vessels were released during the year since the pirates received ransom payments, usually equivalent to tens of millions of SEK per ship. A British married couple was released in November, about a year after they were robbed outside the Seychelles.

Somalia Population

According to COUNTRYAAH, Somalia has a population of 15.01 million (2018). The Somali hijackers have expanded their territory considerably, in some cases as far away as the Maldives and as far south as outside central Mozambique, and have also been reported to have become increasingly daring and more often resorted to violence. Several pirates were themselves captured by the naval vessels patrolling the Indian Ocean. Most were sent to Kenya, where a special court funded by the UN and the EU was inaugurated in June, but several were also brought to trial in, among others. The Netherlands, Germany and the United States. The Swedish warship HMS Carlskrona left Adenviken in November after a six-year patrol mission. Swedish officers participated when the EU began training Somali government soldiers in Uganda.

Two men of Somali origin were sentenced in December in Gothenburg to each four years in prison for stamping terrorist offenses. According to the court, the men had planned suicide bombings in Somalia. They must have been members of the Islamist al-Shabab movement, which retained control over much of the country during the year. Struggles occurred regularly in the capital Mogadishu, where the internationally recognized government only mastered a small area. At least 30 people were killed in a blast attack in a mosque in May. An al-Shababledare, formerly resident in Sweden, was reported to have been the target of the attack but he must have managed. When al-Shabab attacked a hotel near the presidential palace in August, at least 32 people were killed, including six MEPs. In November, al-Shabab archived two spy-convicted teenage girls in public in the city of Beledweyne.

There were strong abrasions within the weak government and several ministers resigned in June. Some of them had already left the country. After a long internal power struggle with President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke resigned in September and was replaced by Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a long-time resident of the United States and dual citizenship. It was not until the end of November before the split Parliament had approved both him and his government.

The new government, with only 18 ministers, was significantly smaller than the previous one, but it was seen as a reinforcement that the powerful Sufi organization Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa (ASWJ) was given ministerial posts. The ASWJ has successfully fought al-Shabab in central Somalia for two years.

In the generally calm, outbreak republic of Somaliland, regime change took place under peaceful forms. Although al-Shabab threatened the electorate, general elections could be held. Opposition politician Ahmed Mohamed Silaanyo from the Kulmiye party got almost 50 percent of the vote. Seated President Dahir Riyale Kahin gained about 33 percent and resigned. Kulmiye also got a majority in parliament. The United States announced closer contacts with Somaliland, which, after nearly 20 years, is still awaiting its first diplomatic recognition.

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