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Article

'Toxic waste' behind Somali piracy

Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukrainian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste... Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia confirmed to Al Jazeera the world body has "reliable information" that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline... Ould-Abdallah...[said] the practice helps fuel the 18-year-old civil war in Somalia as companies are paying Somali government ministers to dump their waste... Ould-Abdallah said piracy will not prevent waste dumping. "The intentions of these pirates are not concerned with protecting their environment," he said. [refers to alleged 1992 contracts between Somali militia leader and companies Achair Partners, Progresso]