Rampant piracy off the Somali coast, demonstrated by the latest hijacking of a Ukrainian ship carrying heavy weapons, can be likened to so-called ‘blood diamonds,’ the illicit trafficking in gems used to finance civil wars in West Africa in recent years, the top United Nations envoy for Somalia said Sept. 29. “There is a striking similarity between the actions of these unscrupulous pirates and the activity in blood diamonds in Liberia and Sierra Leone during the civil wars in these countries,” Special Representative Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah declared in a news release. (UN News Service)

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