Somali pirates are swaggering around shore like big gangsters, stealing women from the honest guys. Which is ironic, since the best idea yet to control the pirates is: make the women hit them with rocks.
Weep at the classic, cinematic story of Ilka Ase Mohamed, a poor honest man in Somalia who finally saved up enough cows to marry his sweetheart, only to have her stolen away by a dastardly, disrespectful pirate!
The woman Mohamed still calls "my beloved girl" was betrothed to a Somali pirate who wears a black cowboy hat, drives a Land Cruiser and paid $50,000 cash in what Mohamed described as a soulless deal with her mother...
Mohamed said he watched in horror as the pirate sat on a carpet without taking off his shoes, a sign of disrespect. In the following weeks, Fatima married him and was whisked off to Europe.
In the movies, Mohamed would then learn karate and/ or win a game show and give the pirate his rightful comeuppance, but in this case he just moved to another country and is all like, "Dang." But he may have the last laugh; international policy experts are commiserating on how to stop these dudes from stealing more girlfriends, not to mention ships. There's even a conference! But the best idea so far, from the UN's former chief security officer in Somalia: get the women mad at them.
In 1995, for example, the water supply for Mogadishu, the capital, was shut off by the United Nations humanitarian agencies until a hostage who worked for another aid organization was released. On the first day of the shutoff, the women who collected water from public distribution points yelled at the kidnappers; on the second day they stoned them; on the third day they shot at them; on the fourth day, the hostage was released.