NAIROBI - Somalia's president has shielded a top pirate leader from arrest by issuing him a diplomatic passport, according to a United Nations investigation which criticizes the "climate of impunity" enjoyed by pirate kingpins in Somalia and abroad.
The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia said in a report to the Security Council, seen by Reuters, that senior pirate leaders were benefiting from high level protection from Somali authorities and were not being sufficiently targeted for arrest or sanction by international authorities.
The Group said it had obtained evidence a diplomatic passport had been provided "with the authorization of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed" to pirate leader Mohamed Abide Hassan "Afweyne," who presented it to authorities in Malaysia on a trip there in April.
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