Sunday, January 24, 2010

Somalia’s booming piracy trade

IT was supposed to be an ordinary Somali pirate hijacking for ransom, but that was not to be during the week for the Greek supertanker Maran Centaurus.A band of pirates had been holding the vessel since hijacking it on Nov 29, along with its 28 crew members and US$150mil (RM500mil) cargo of Saudi oil.
Then the haggling over the ransom money went on for two months. That tested and stretched the patience of everyone, including other pirate gangs watching from the sidelines. Finally, a ransom of US$5.5mil (RM18.4mil) was agreed and the “drop” was to be made last Sunday. Then rival pirates in two speedboats swooped, firing on the pirate hostage-takers.That rattled the pirates on the supertanker so much that they called the European Union (EU) anti-piracy naval force nearby for help. But who would want to protect pirates to ensure that they get their hands on the ransom? Apparently, the EU anti-piracy force would, and did so superbly. Nobody from the force would comment, so it was left to a Somali source to reveal what had happened.Two helicopters from the EU naval force arrived swiftly and hovered over the attacking pirates, without opening fire. Apparently that was enough to scare off the brigands without any of them shooting at the helicopters, thus they turned tail and scooted.The pirate hostage-takers were relieved and happy to receive the ransom as planned. They released the tanker with crew and cargo intact on Monday, and everyone was happy again except perhaps for the insurance company.Pirate attacks around the Somali coast have worsened in both number and scale. Not only have attacks last year increased 96% over 2008, they constitute 53% of global incidents, have risen in the value of ransoms taken and now target tankers as well.If anyone anywhere is serious about reducing or eliminating these attacks on shipping, this week’s drama leaves some hard questions unanswered.First, why was there no apparent or effective security force on board the vessel? The Saudi oil tanker Sirius Star had already been hijacked in the vicinity and later exchanged for a US$3mil (RM10mil) ransom just a year before.Second, why did it take so long to agree on the ransom, leaving crew members and their families on edge for months? Next, what was the EU anti-piracy force doing all these weeks while anchored nearby?Reports on the incident also tell of “other warships in the area”. Evidently, the only official action taken has been to ensure that the pirate hostage-takers received their ransom and got away safely.Of course, officials might have been concerned for the safety of the crew if not also of the cargo. However, any self-respecting insurance company or security agency might want a fuller accounting of events than that.Furthermore, the timing of the pirate attack on the hostage-taking pirates was critical. How did the attackers know of the drop, if it had not been an “inside job”? Not least, what made the pirates under attack think they could rely on the EU force for help? Most crucially, how did they know that they could?
In a siege situation, an armed group attacking another holding hostages and cargo for ransom creates a distraction that might be turned to advantage by rescuers and crime-fighters.
But that would be to assume that the rescuers and crime-fighters in the “anti-piracy” force on standby had been poised to act.Since the attackers were also pirates, their interest lay in the ransom rather than doing harm to the hostages. And it remains something of a foregone conclusion that the navies and special forces units in the area would overwhelm any motley crew of pirates, with or without their rocket-launchers.
More to the point perhaps, was there any attempt by any of the government forces to pursue the pirates with the ransom after the hostages had been freed? Has there ever been any attempt at pursuit so far, following all the pirate attacks all these years?From all available indications, post-ransom action has been limited to the pirates themselves. After last Sunday’s “take”, the victorious pirates later in the week met with opposition from other pirates still after their booty when they landed.Despite the involvement of several countries’ naval forces and security agencies off Somali waters, piracy continues to thrive and grow. That some pirates are now attacking other pirates is no consolation for law enforcement.The greater strategic concern by the world’s governments may be over Islamist militancy in Somalia, but it is no substitute for appropriate concern and action over piracy offshore. Most pirates may operate differently from militants, but nobody can say they may not at some point collaborate, join forces or share resources.At stake is more than corporate money, although some reports have put the week’s ransom amount as high as US$7mil (RM23.3mil) in two separate “deliveries”. The earlier figure of US$5.5mil was already a record sum for Somali piracy.At issue are also personal and public safety, national security, rising insurance premiums and the international reputation of a nation’s military forces. The latter’s response so far has only been to encourage more of the same.Given the size of the takings, the relatively little time and effort spent, the ease of the getaway and the record of non-capture, the booming piracy trade is paying much better than mere fishing or the mercenary business in Somalia. Other troubled nations might just take notice.
Terrorists of the seas
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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