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Piracy in Somalia: Factors Influencing the Current Trend
In a country which has had little government power since its creation, it is no wonder that anarchy and poverty are the two factors most prevalent in Somalia’s past. Somalia has gone to war with Ethiopia on several occasions, but most of the damage leading to Somalia’s utter collapse of government has been from within the country. Warlords, tribes and clans run wild without punishment from a government. With such a chaotic mess also emerges the most recent international conflict between Somalia and the world. Piracy. Since the early 2000’s Somalia has been growing into a nation which takes what it can from the sea, whether or not it is theirs. In 2008 alone pirates attacked over 111 commercial ships and by September 2009, an additional 156 more (Dagne 2). Most of the people in Somalia live on less than $130 U.S. dollars per year, making it one of the poorest countries in the world (In Somalia They Die of Thirst). This lack of economic opportunities drives Somalians to become pirates, seeking for a way to make money. As described by reporter Jeffrey Gettleman, who has traveled to Somalia at least a dozen times in the past years, “The whole country has become a breeding ground for warlords, pirates, kidnappers, bomb makers, fanatical Islamist insurgents, freelance gunmen, and idle, angry youth with no education and way too many bullets. There is no Green Zone here, by the way--no fortified place of last resort to run to if, God forbid, you get hurt or in
Today. The most recent pirating attacks have puzzled policy makers on what to do. it was a kill or be killed war in which everyone must choose a side. civil war dominates much of Somalia. Though the state had a government in place. despite numerous attempts and failures of United Nations and the United States peacekeeping operations. Barre was not easy to give in. it had little control over constant war waged by clans and tribes within. British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland united to from the Republic of Somalia. In a . you're on your own. while ransom payments to pirates are over $120 million U.S.” In 1960. The civil war continued for 10 years until Mogadishu. the high risk involved with pirating is well worth the reward. Somalia’s capital. By 1981 however. was overrun and Barre fled (Robinson). Most citizens of Somalia live on under $130 U. In essence. The Republic of Somalia came under power of a socialist government led by Mohammed Siad Barre. The SNM. conflict continued between warlords seeking power in a state with little to offer. In Somalia.Somalia trouble. For a poverty stricken country like Somalia. Even with Barre gone however. Northern Somalia began to grow tired of the dictatorship led by Barre. dollars per year. For 20 years. any attempt of government was futile. The local hospitals barely have enough gauze to treat all the wounds. However. even with a temporary government in place. or Somali National Movement was formed to organize against Barre’s regime. a republic which has not seen peace since its creation.S.Grant Ehrick . dollars (Dagne 2). By the end of 1981 civil war was crumpling Barre’s regime(Timeline Somalia).
They can find out which ships are carrying cargo and which ships to target.” As more and more people see the pirates becoming rich..Grant Ehrick . The pirates come from many backgrounds.. In addition. the pirates are “Living the high life.Somalia report by BBC. they have new car.Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. (2) ex-militiamen who used to fight for the local clan warlords. They have become fashionable (Hunter). Some are ex-fishermen. “(1) the local fishermen. and (3) technical experts. but they seem to come from similar backgrounds. considered the brains of the pirates' operations due to their skill and knowledge of the sea. but smaller operations target fishing boats and other smaller income vessels. “They have the money. Ships with valuable cargo such as oil are usually the target. others are ex-militiamen and some are businessmen looking for an easy check (Ho 504). who operate high-tech equipment such as the GPS systems (504). most groups of pirates can be broken into three groups.” BBC also quotes Abdi Farah Juha of Somalia who says. According to the Korean Journal of Defense Analysis. they have the power and they are getting stronger.. they are building big houses. Often times a businessman invest in supplies and gear for the pirates. Most pirates are 25-30 years old.” . businessmen work from the inside. and gets a certain percentage of the take. used as the muscle.. they are influenced to join them.
In 2008 attacks rose higher than previous years even with five NATO warships patrolling the waters (Ho 506). but with such vast amounts of space.” It is not however just Somalia dumping waste into the oceans. Though money is a driving factor behind piracy in Somalia. In Somalia it is $2.Grant Ehrick . In Europe it cost $250 per ton to dump waste in the oceans. not all ships can be protected.Somalia Though some argue that the pirates are unorganized. there’s industrial waste. chemical wastes. due to the limited range of the attack vessels. For a major company with a lot of waste. with powerful engines are used to actually confront the victims. From a report by the United Nations Environment Program. Smaller boats. all while the number of hijackings and pirated . The pirates organize and launch from a larger boat a ways out at sea. or “mother ship. and there’s hospital wastes. warships have attempted to control pirates. The larger boat. At the end of 2008 the European Union launched six warships and three surveillance planes into the area. “there’s uranium radioactive waste.” can be valuable in organizing the attack and carrying fuel to stay at sea for several days. as they are faster and more maneuverable (Ho 504). another factor may be involved. At the cost of millions. Toxic waste dumped into the oceans of Somalia has reportedly caused the fishing economy to fall through. the cost savings can add up quick. several factors point to the contrary. there’s heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. Many countries use the oceans of Somalia to dump their waste due to cost. there’s lead. you name it.50 (Dagne 8). Many countries have been involved in trying to fix the piracy problem in Somalia.
The bill states. and other companies offer security guards ranging in price from $20. but many orders are on the way (International Maritime Security Network. In addition to onboard security guards and insurance policies a company by the name of International Maritime Security Network is offering their equipment and services. which the onboard crew can use with little training. Besides the show of force in the Somalian oceans.000 per trip (Ho 505). . certain businesses are profiting from the increase in piracy. Insurance companies offer policies for protection incase of a ship becoming hijacked.Grant Ehrick . These prices may seem expensive. So far. the United Nations passed a bill in 2008 in an attempt to discourage piracy. IMSN can install several detterents on the ship such as high pressure water cannons and their new state of the art water pump system which sprays water mixed with pepper oil off of the deck. However. according the Korean Journal of Defense. IMSN offers other more permanent solutions to pirates. the problem is causing a large financial casualty. but many companies are willing to pay the extra cost to ensure safe passage of their expensive cargo.Somalia vessels climbed in 2009 (Ho 507). One insurance company charges $15. LLC Triton Shield Promotion).” In other words. IMSN has only installed one of these systems on a ship. “UN Security Council Resolution 1618 uses Chapter VII powers to authorize foreign military and law-enforcement action in the Somalian territorial sea to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea over an initial six-month period (Guilfoyle 690-691).000 per trip in waters around Somalia. down the sides of the ship.000 to $40. With more than $120 million dollars paid in ransoms to pirates. any foreign country is allowed to use force to stop piracy.
famine and civil war. Both attempts by the U.S. troops died during the confrontation with war torn rebels. and U. along with many United Nations peacekeeping troops (Stewart 26). and prevents pirates from nearing the ship (Anti Piracy Net Demo). piracy is allowed to . but without a stop of the violence.” Without government. Somalia has been without an authoritative government since 1991. 42 U.N. civil war. the problem will have to solved from the inside. the pirates are always improving their tactics and constantly changing to avoid detterents. Most of the technologies.000 Somalian deaths and millions of people displaced from their homes right after the U. and even before 1991 the government had little control (Timeline Somalia). interventions in 1993 (Robinson).S. an end needs to come to the civil war. and U. the United Nations and United States both attempted to intervene in a situation following the ousting of Barre. According to a worker for ISMN. including a net system that is released when pirates are sighted. All of these possible solutions and insurance policies aimed at protection from pirates are only temporary unfortunately.Somalia In addition. As previously stated. Eventually. Genocide. were deemed unsuccessful and the pullout of troops left a country by itself to “die by its own hand. This may not sound easy. In order to stop the current piracy. not simply by trying to prevent the effects of piracy. piracy was able to grow rampant until todays current situation. IMSN has several new technologies on the way.N. These attempts had little effect on stopping the mass genocide.Grant Ehrick . famine and lack of water contributed to over 350.S. warships and policies are only short time solutions.
Many problems prevent this from happening.. the U. troops will have to be sent in to retake the government.Grant Ehrick . and U. Since the 1990’s Al Qaeda groups have been reportedly using Somalia as a training area and recruiting the Islamist population. but the most obvious would be monetary funds. Somalia has oil. and the international community to correct many problems Somalia is faced with. In the 1990’s Osama Bin Laden was rumored to have provided weapons to shoot down U. Through a world wide effort. Recently.N. But even these numbers are small compared to what a government needs to succeed. This is easier said than done however. Obviously with current conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. a government with the ability to punish war mongering groups and take control of the country. but their are certain incentives that may aid in the decision to intervene. helicopters proving aid (Timeline Somalia).S. the only way to stop the civil war will be through a strong change of power to a government.S. Only after a successful campaign will power be able be passed onto a trained and able government. many people would be weary of this approach.N. In 2008 the United States provided $318 million to aid Somalia relief programs (Dagne 6). With current oil conditions and constant scares of rising prices another oil producing territory available for the U. the U.Somalia continue.S. Somalia’s . terrorism.S. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan however. and allies is a good idea. And judging from past attempts to stop the violence. Action needs to be taken by the U. preventing a possible future problem. should intervene before terrorist securely establish themselves. Secondly.
those effected must step in. pirates seized a South Korean oil tanker carrying a payload of up to $170 million dollars worth of oil (Pirates Seize South Korean Tanker). secure Somalia. April 5th. but as the increase in piracy has shown. and initiate a powerful government which can bring an end to terrorism on the ocean. As of today.Somalia downfalls were mostly within the country. This hijacking is just one of many in the past several years. 2010. In order to stop this problem now. Somalia’s problems are beginning to effect many other countrys.Grant Ehrick . and the result will likely be another ransom payment to the growing economy of piracy. .
2009. Youtube. Joshua.com/ . "Most Dangerous Place in the World. Congressional Research Service.com. 15 Mar. 2010 Ho. Web. 2010." Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 21. 2010.3 (2008): Web." Foreign Policy. Dagne. Ted. 14 Mar.opencrs. "Piracy around the Horn of Africa.com/articles/2009/02/16/ the_most_dangerous_place_in_the_world?page=full> Guilfoyle. 2010.16 Mar.Anti Piracy Net Demo. <http://assets. <http://www.Somalia Works Cited Anti Piracy Maritime Security Solutions . (2009): Web. Douglas.pdf> Gettleman. 2010 < http://www.” The International and Comparative Law Quarterly 57. 16 Mar.foreignpolicy. Somalia: Current Conditions and Prospects for Lasting Peace.Grant Ehrick . “Piracy off Somalia: A UN Security Council Resoloution 1816 and IMO Regional Counter-Piracy Efforts. (2009): Web. Jeffrey.4 (2009): Web.informaworld. 15 Mar.com/rpts/RL33911_20091021.
html?iref=allsearch> “Timeline Somalia. 20 Mar.cnn.bbc. <http://www.” Timelines of History (2009): Web.tanker. 2010. Youtube.” CNN WORLD (2010): Web. 2010. <http://news. “Somali Pirates Living The High Life. Web. 2010.Somalia 10.co. 20 Mar. <http://www.ws/countries/SOMALIA. 5 April 2010.stm> “In Somalia They Die of Thirst. LLC Triton Shield Promotion.HTML> . 2010.Grant Ehrick . <http://timelines. 2009. Robyn. “Pirates Seize South Korean Tanker.org/photo-essays/somalia-they-die-thirst> International Maritime Security Network. 23 Mar.” BBC News (2008): Web.1080/10163270903298967> Hunter.” International Rescue Committee (2007): Web.com/2010/WORLD/africa/04/05/somalia. 23 Mar.com.uk/2/hi/7650415.hijacked/ index.theirc.
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