Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pirate' death puts spotlight on 'guns for hire'

Somalia coastline
Somali pirates have become a chronic hazard for shipping in the region

By Kathryn Westcott
BBC News

The death of a suspected pirate off the coast of Somalia has drawn attention to the use of armed private security contractors on board merchant vessels.
The incident, which involved guards aboard the Panamanian-flagged MV Almezaan, is believed to be the first of its kind.
But several organisations, including the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), have previously expressed concerns over the use of armed security contractors.
"While we understand that owners want to protect their ships, we don't agree in principle with putting armed security on ships," IMB director Capt Pottengal Mukundan told the BBC News website.
"Ships are not an ideal place for a gun battle."
A Canadian naval vessel patrols the coast of Somalia
The Canadian navy has joined patrols off the Somali coast
One argument is that the use of armed operatives could encourage pirates to use more violence when taking a ship.
But Mr Mukundan said he had seen no evidence that there had been much of an increase in the use of armed guards by merchant ship owners.
Dozens of warships patrol the waters off the Somali coast, but this has not deterred the pirates. The amount of ocean to patrol is extremely vast and pirates have responded to the increased naval presence by moving attacks farther out to sea.
"The naval forces are displacing the threat - they can't be everywhere at once," says Nick Davis, chief executive of Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre, a not-for-profit organisation.
"Almost the whole of the Indian Ocean region - some 5 million square nautical miles - is a security risk."
But the shipping industry has, so far, largely resisted arming their boats - not least because this would deny them port in some nations. Furthermore, arming the ships can raise liability issues and increase insurance costs.
Christopher Ledger, director of security firm Idarat Maritime, says the use of private operatives is not necessary and that ship owners can find other ways to protect themselves, such as boosting training, carrying out more drills and purchasing equipment that could prevent pirates boarding a vessel.
"Private security guards are not necessary, they simply muddy the water," he said. "They are often foreign to the crew themselves and they don't know the ship well.
Experts say piracy is just one symptom of Somalia's failed state
"Many are former soldiers that have been in Iraq or Afghanistan and they think they can shake the dust off their shoes and make it as a private security guard. Their day rate is pretty high and the crew have to find ways to get them on and off the vessels."
Their presence, he said, would only lead to "more spilt blood".
This month, international law firm Ince and Co released a report highlighting the issues arising from the use of armed guards. It pointed out that a fundamental question arose as to who would authorise the use of force.
Stephen Askins, a lawyer with Ince, told the BBC News website that the debate on the use of armed guards was one that polarised the industry.
"Most industry bodies and ship-owners are against them," he said. "But no ship with an armed guard has been hijacked, so there are those - particularly those who have had hijacked ships - who think they are necessary."
He said private security companies had come into their own in places like Iraq and had seen seen the maritime sector as potentially lucrative.
"Many have moved across but there is no system of accreditation, so there is no way of knowing the good from the bad," he said.
Legal status
Most security operatives are former British servicemen, but there are also operatives from the US, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Mr Askins said some firms provided armed escort vessels, but that these did not have any status in international law.
"The various conventions dealing with piracy relate to states and their navies," he said. "The rights that they are given, like the right of innocent passage relate to military ships. There are also issues over the use of armed force. The relevant law is the law of the flag state, but a merchant ship could, for example, be Panamanian and the escort ship could be, say, UK flagged."
BBC map
But he also pointed out that there were some very good companies that had "robust rules of engagement".
"Lethal force for them would come after a series of steps including warning shots. The good companies would follow that procedure. Normally that would be enough to deter an attack."
In May 2009, the US Coast Guard drafted a maritime security directive that would require US-flagged ships sailing around the Horn of Africa to post guards, and ship owners to submit anti-piracy security plans for approval.
At the time, the Coast Guard's director of prevention policy, Rear Admiral James Watson, said that they expected to see "additional security" that could "involve the use of firearms".
He added that they were "looking for things that work but that don't make the situation worse".
The directive has not yet passed into law.
For now, the handling of Tuesday's shooting by a private security operative will be watched closely by legal experts.
An independent inquiry is planned, but first investigators will need to establish who had jurisdiction - the flag the vessel was flying, its owners or the nationality of the contractors - and who was responsible for the security contractors.

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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

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