On June 18, 6 foreign nationals, 3 Britons, 1 American, and 2 Kenyans, were given jail terms up to 15 years for illegally bringing in US$3m to pay a ransom for an unspecified ship in Somalia. 8 days later, all 6 were granted a presidential pardon, with the ransom money confiscated and an order to pay US$100 000 to have their planes released.
This event comes in the same week as a new Prime Minister was named, after Abudallahi Mohamed was forced to step down, after a political deadlock with incumbent president, Sahrif Sheikh Ahmed.
There are 3 things that can be deduced from this, first, instability and volatility in the executive means that there is always scope for influence to be put on the Somali authorities.
Second, there is now a public acknowledgement that ransoms occur in Somalia, previously the government banned them, this is tacit knowledge that ransoms are paid to pirates.
Third, the industry of piracy will be buoyed, pirates now know they could get ransoms paid out, and this also means forces of instability such as al-Shabab will continue their fight with the Africa Union forces, as there are financial links between pirates and the rebel group. With average ransoms of US$4 million now, the market will only increase for this activity.