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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Africa

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Africa Issues of modern Africa.

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  #1  
Old 24 Nov 08, 09:49
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Pirates ... to sum it up ...

This thread is a summary of the Somalian piracy background.

My main sources are some european newspapers, radio stations and websites : Liberation, Der Spiegel (english), Le Mode Diplo, France Inter, Wikipedia.
It is not meat to be exaustive, but it tries to give a general view of the situation, feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

------------------------------------------------------------------

The pirates
When their business started around 2000, they were mainly fishermen and ex-coast guards choosing small coastal opportunity targets around Somalia.
It didn't take long, with the help of some Puntland ( see local countries ) personalities to get organized, buy better equipment and chose more lucrative and offshore targets.
Their now form an unnumbered force of small organized groups located in the Northen Indian Ocean and the Aden gulf.
They mainly use speedboats with radios,GPS and tracking systems and act as a roaming pack, coordinated by "motherships" with better communication systems.
Their weapons stay quite crude: RPG's, Ak's and Pk's.
With each attack their equipment gets better and their targets bigger.


Implication of local countries
Somalia is divided between the Ethiopian formed government and the I.C.U (Islamic Courts), the actual political situation swings from military operations to short term peace treaties.
The Ethiopian Gov. officially denounces any act of piracy. While some I.C.U factions refuse piracy others see it as an opportunity to cut offshore arms dealings with Ethiopia.
The Puntland obtained autonomy in 1998 and remained relatively safe from the late Ethiopian/Somalian conflict; but its natural resources, high corruption, and deep tribal division attracted many pirates who now use the Puntland ports as temporary safe havens.
Erythraea maintains status quo while stating that "piracy is a just retribution for the excessive occidental fishing".
Yemen decided to form coast guard patrols trained by local military and private operatives.

Intervention forces
Piracy in the Indian Ocean is not new. Around 2003, the Malacca Detroit was plagued with pirates.
The situation was dealt with by coordinating the naval forces of the neighboring countries (Malaysia, Indonesia Singapore).
In Somalia, with a raging civil war, one cannot expect such cooperation.
The 1982 Montego Bay U.N Treaty limited anti piracy measures to high see, and acknowledged sovereignty of local waters up to 200milles offshore.
The recent U.N resolution n 1816 allows international military fleets to enter that perimeter in Somalia.
Britain, France, Spain and Russia push towards join naval operations in the Somalian zone (EU Actions are to be coordinated in December 2008 with the project Eunav-Somalia).
The NATO naval task Force 150 deployed to support "Operation Enduring Freedom" extended its patrolling operations to the Aden Gulf, Somalia and Yemen coasts.
Since June 2008, most of UN ships (food & supply) take special forces commandos on board, the tankers and arms ships are advised to modify their courses away from shores.
Many other measures are taken to ensure that the naval companies won't resort to private operatives or arm their crews.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes :
I will attach a map and edit the topic ASAP ...

Best Regards,
Raum_schiff.

Last edited by raum_schiff; 24 Nov 08 at 11:17..
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  #2  
Old 24 Nov 08, 12:50
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maybe we should get some priveters
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Old 24 Nov 08, 13:00
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Ship owners want military to stop Somali pirates

A good article on the subject, my only questions are who is going to provide the ships, and who is going to foot the bill?

Quote:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A shipping body and tanker owners from around the world on Monday called for a military blockade along the coast of Somalia to intercept pirate vessels heading out to sea.


Peter Swift, managing director of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, said stronger naval action -- including aerial and aviation support -- is necessary to battle rampant piracy in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia.

Some 20 tankers sail through the sea lane daily but many tanker owners are considering a massive detour around southern Africa to avoid pirates, which will delay delivery and push cost up by 30 percent, he said.

The association, whose members own 2,900 tankers or 75 percent of the world's fleet, opposes attempts to arm merchant ships because this may escalate the violence and put crew members at risk, he said.
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa....ap/index.html
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Old 24 Nov 08, 13:39
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Originally Posted by bass_man86 View Post
A good article on the subject, my only questions are who is going to provide the ships, and who is going to foot the bill ?
A blockade will need U.N agreement ... though ( and, sorry I don't have any relevant source ) the Puntland authorities have allowed on several occasions foreign "police" operations in their ports.

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Old 24 Nov 08, 13:47
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thus back to my idea of Priveters, maybe like $50,000 or so for each ship sunk
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Old 24 Nov 08, 14:04
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Originally Posted by ace View Post
thus back to my idea of Priveters, maybe like $50,000 or so for each ship sunk
Privateers will sooner or later claim the $50,000 and keep the ship and even force bribe on the pirates ... there is enough corruption in Somalia ATM.

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Old 24 Nov 08, 15:17
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My take is that if it's cheaper to pay a ransom for a ship than sending a limited military force that would beat the crap out of the pirates.
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Old 24 Nov 08, 15:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace View Post
thus back to my idea of Priveters, maybe like $50,000 or so for each ship sunk
I like it!
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Old 24 Nov 08, 19:01
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The Thai carrier is tried up. Crew is not trained up and the ship has seldom even seen deep water
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Old 25 Nov 08, 16:24
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Why sending a carrier there? A destroyer would perfectly suffice...
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Old 25 Nov 08, 19:17
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Originally Posted by CrazyArcher View Post
Why sending a carrier there? A destroyer would perfectly suffice...
The area to patrol is about 6 million square kilometres ... A coordination of TF 150 and the EU + Russian ships should be enough though.

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Old 25 Nov 08, 19:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
With air spotters flying from that island, and mother-ships based in Aden, the Pirates could be wiped out in a month.
A good idea IMHO, with moderate to little diplomatic impact.

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Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
Now, if anyone had the balls to land a Brigade on the Pirate towns, that would be even better. Lets see if anyone besides the US is capable of taking that step.
I think land operations would heaten-up the Somalian conflict and serve the political agenda of the radicals among the I.C.U.

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Old 25 Nov 08, 22:12
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I think land operations would heaten-up the Somalian conflict and serve the political agenda of the radicals among the I.C.U.

So what?!
There are 250 people being held for ransom in onw town, anyone in legue with that ought to be hunted down and killed. Today!
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Old 26 Nov 08, 03:07
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Originally Posted by raum_schiff View Post
The area to patrol is about 6 million square kilometres
You don't have to patrol the area, just pay a visit to the towns hosting the pirate's boats.
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Old 26 Nov 08, 06:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
So what?!
There are 250 people being held for ransom in onw town, anyone in legue with that ought to be hunted down and killed. Today!
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Originally Posted by CrazyArcher View Post
You don't have to patrol the area, just pay a visit to the towns hosting the pirate's boats.
U.N resolution n 1816 does not allow port operations.
IMHO, going big SWAT on this will surely trigger the "All against the Occidentals syndrome" ... and perhaps a Battle of Mogadiscio 2 scenario.

Happy radical Islamist propaganda.

These are (my) mere speculations, after all, time will tell ...

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Raum_Schiff.

Last edited by raum_schiff; 26 Nov 08 at 06:16..
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