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For Somalia, Trouble By Land and By Sea

Issue 327
Front Page

Food Crisis Worsened By Government’s Decision To Raise Fuel Prices By 43% And Port Service Charges By 25%

Somaliland: New Report Shows Successes & Trials

Draft UN Resolution Calls For UN Political Office In Somalia, Planning For Peacekeeping Force

Somalia/Ethiopia: Deliberate killing of civilians is a war crime

Coleman Tells Somali President Reconciliation Is Key

'They Risk Everything To Escape'

Declining Dollar Hurts Remittance Recipients Abroad

Let Somaliland Be An Independent Country, Int'l Think Tanks Say

France, US Working On UN Draft To Combat Piracy In Somalia

Regional Affairs

Ethiopia Denies Amnesty Mosque Killings Accusation

Somalian Government To Meet Opposition In Djibouti On May 10

No Talk Of Money Yet With Somali Pirates, Spain Says - Summary

Special Report

International News

Bush Presses Congress on Economy

Pope appeals for peace in Somalia, Darfur, Burundi

Famed 'Black Hawk Down' pilot works to help others


Birth In A Nation: African Hospital Founder Describes Conditions

Bin Laden Tycoon Aims To Build Arab-Africa Sea Bridge

Somaliland's 'Path To Recognition'

Boy Or Girl? The Answer May Depend On Mom’s Eating Habits

Separatist Movements - Should Nations Have A Right To Self-Determination?

Regions and territories: Somaliland

Looking At US from "Out There"

Food for thought


Luga Yare Del Somal

All Current Somaliland Ills Squarely Rest On The Shoulders Of Its Inept MPs

Where Ali Delivered Others Failed

Wearisome Time For The Emerging Nation Of Somaliland

Hargeisa Airport! The gate to contemptuous corrupted entity

Qassim Sh. Yussuf Ibrahim, Somaliland Minister of Water and Mineral met Somaliland community in Dallas

26 April 2008

As if the violence on the ground in Somalia were not enough -- thousands of civilians have been forced to flee after renewed clashes in the capital, Mogadishu, recently -- the coast of the country is facing increasing danger from -- yep, you guessed it -- pirates.

These are no fanciful swashbucklers, though. The pirates have recently captured various European cargo ships, luxury yachts, and fishing boats, holding their crews and passengers hostage for one goal -- money. The attacks on the high seas, then, are not merely a re-enactment of the ancient art of piracy; rather, they are deeply connected to the instability and suffering that have long run rampant on the mainland.

Many of the pirates are formerly struggling fishermen fed up with the country's situation -- a fact that they did not hide from their captives. The BBC reports:

They frequently took the trouble to tell us that they hadn't had a proper government for about 17 years, that there were no government agencies and, as a result, they were obliged to rob to survive," says Captain Darch [of a captured Danish vessel].

Worse, though, these are not merely a few isolated fisherfolk looking to make a buck (or a euro) by, shall we say, expanding their business. Forces on land with the potential to further destabilize Somalia's conflict have noticed that this piracy could provide them with a reliable source of funding.

"Businessmen and former fighters for the Somali warlords moved in when they saw how lucrative it could be. The pirates and their backers tend to split the ransom money 50-50," [BBC reporter Mohamed Olad Hassan] says.

The UN is addressing both of these problems, fortunately. The Security Council is drafting a resolution to allow countries to pursue pirates into Somalian waters, and Spain -- one of whose ships was recently captured -- has pushed for creating a UN anti-piracy force. To deal with the persistent violence on land, the Secretary-General's Special Representative in Somali, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, has pledged that the UN will continue to work to bring the various warring factions together for peace talks.


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