After four months in the hands of Somali pirates, the Ukrainian ship full of tanks bound for Kenya South Sudan an as yet undetermined location has been released.
And it seems the recent slowdown in hijackings — buoyed (no pun intended) by international resolve in increasing the fleet of pirate-watchers in the area — has dampened the market for ransoms. While the pirates are still “counting the haul,” the magic number seems to have been somewhere around $3.2 million (presumably in new $100 bills). This is far under their original $20 million asking price, and still substantially less than the $8 million “bargain” that they were holding out for. According to a pirate spokesman, the $3.2 million is just a little “something to cover our expenses” — presumably, more than a few nights in a swanky hotel (as long as they can make it ashore, that is).
Meanwhile, Somalia roils, even as it enters a putatively “new era” (under a former president, that is, whom the Ethiopians who just left may have just returned happen to not particularly like very much.)
UPDATE: Beth Dickinson points out that, according to Ukraine’s Kyiv Post, at least, the tanks are still headed to Kenya. We’ll be watching the ports at Mombasa…