Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hi-tech navies take on Somalia's pirates

(Reuters) - How do you tell the difference between a Somali pirate in a small boat and a largely identical but innocent fisherman? It all comes down to the ladders.

Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
Pirates often take fishing gear out with them into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean to help feed themselves, and fishermen from the lawless country often carry AK-47s for self protection. Grappling hooks can be easily hidden out of sight.
But if naval officers see a small boat with long metal ladders lashed to the deck, they say they know for sure the occupants have set to sea with only one thing in mind.
That means maritime patrol aircraft and helicopters flying along the Somali beach can pick out so-called "pirate action groups" putting to sea and feed the information back to warship and command center operations rooms.
"You can see the giveaway signs that this is a pirate gathering," says Andreas Kutsch, a German naval officer working as an assistant chief of staff for the EU's anti-piracy task force, using a laser pointer to show the ladders among the brightly colored plastic containers for spare fuel and water. "Fishermen don't need ladders."
Boarding merchant vessels, sailing them to the Somali coast and holding them and their crews ransom, the pirates have redrawn shipping lanes across the Indian Ocean. They have infuriated owners and insurers and prompted a surge of naval forces to the region.
On any given day, the United States estimates that some 30 to 40 warships are involved in counter piracy efforts from the EU, NATO and the United States as well as emerging Indian Ocean players China, Russia, India, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.
Most of the latter tend to concentrate on escorting convoys of their own national vessels, while the Western-led forces spread themselves across the region saying they want to protect all shipping regardless of flag.
The Indian navy says it has also been escorting ships without reference to nationality, with only 134 of the 1037 ships escorted by its warships since 2008 being Indian-flagged.
There is no overall commander although the navies meet once a month in Bahrain and coordinate through an Internet chat room.
At the British base northwest of London that houses the headquarters of both the EU and NATO forces, dozens of personnel coordinate and monitor shipping a quarter of a world away.
Two merchant navy liaison officers -- tanker, cruise ship and freighter captains on loan from their companies -- communicate with ships by email and phone, pointing them toward convoys and the safest routes.
But the military surge does not seem to be deterring the several thousand Somalis that Western military officers believe are involved in the growing piracy industry, with the numbers seen roughly tripling on a year ago.
Despite the risks of weather, high seas and being picked up by a foreign warship, the potential multimillion dollar ransoms from ships carrying Asian goods to Europe, Middle East oil and African commodities to the world is just too great.
"Unemployment in Somalia is very high, and even for those who are employed the average salary is only $500 a year," says NATO force deputy chief of staff Commodore Hans Helseth, a former Norwegian submariner who has tracked the pirates for three years. "A pirate can earn $20,000. Who would not be tempted? I would."
Naval officers say heavy patrolling along the Gulf of Aden's Internationally Recognized Transit Corridor (IRTC) -- where they hope to get a helicopter to an attacked ship within 15 minutes -- has been effective. Once the main focus of the pirates, only three ships have been seized there since July last year.
Many ships now take many more steps to avoid attack, passing through risky areas at night, using barbed wire to make it harder for attackers to board and keeping a good lookout. In the Gulf of Aden, officers say that if a ship can slow the speed of a pirate takeover from five to 15 minutes they are much more likely to get military support in time.
But most of the more than 15 ships and hundreds of sailors currently held off Somalia were taken south of Aden in the wider Indian Ocean, where navies simply lack the numbers to cover the vast area.
"Distance really is the tyranny," says EU Naval Force Somalia (EUNAVFOR) commander Rear Admiral Peter Hudson. "We can have a maritime patrol aircraft identify a pirate action group and it can take me two or three days to get a ship down there."
Nevertheless, Hudson says the six ship EU force and other Western-led forces have disrupted 59 pirate groups -- usually one "mothership" that can be as small as 5 meters long with several smaller attacks skiffs -- in April and May alone.
Those "disruptions" can range from storming a hijacked vessel, arresting the pirates for trial, destroying their boats or simply prompting them to throw their ladders and other incriminating evidence overboard.
Some other nations have taken a rather tougher approach. Russian military officers told local news agencies that pirates captured when they took back control of an oil tanker were simply set loose in their boats without weapons or navigation equipment -- and were not expected to have survived.
But Western officers say even simply forcing the pirates to dump their equipment is still a success.
The Somalis might escape prosecution but still face the long journey back to Somalia with nothing to show for it, driving up the cost of the industry and, the EU hopes, deterring them.
While reasonable weather allows pirates to prey on shipping in the Gulf of Aden throughout the year, twice yearly monsoons limit the party season in the rest of the Indian Ocean to two periods a year, March to May and September to December.
"Hopefully, we will put them out of business for the season at least," says Hudson. "Our aim is to contain the piracy problem and hold it at an acceptable level. We know we are not going to be able to eradicate it."

No comments:

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

About Us

The Foundation is dedicated to networking like-minded Somalis opposed to the terrorist insurgency that is plaguing our beloved homeland and informing the international public at large about what is really happening throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Blog Archive

We Are Winning the War on Terrorism in Horn of Africa

The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

Terror Free Somalia Foundation