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The Lie: The navies and their mainstream media claim that they achieved a decline in piracy.

The Reality: Never before in history the cases of piracy have been around the Horn of Africa so numerous than in these times (2010) and after the specific multi-national naval operations were launched at the end of 2008; with a thereafter continuously expanding force and naval presence never seen before around Somalia – even not during WWII. But in the same time piracy has increased to an all-time high with increased violence and escalating armed encounters.

The Lie: The navies have to blow small, captured “piracy” skiffs out of the water, because they “would endanger shipping“.

The Reality: Most of the so called “pirate skiffs” and little larger open fibreglass boats with an inboard engine destroyed by the navies were earlier stolen by criminal pirate gangs from legitimate fishermen and even from fisheries projects paid for by the Worldbank and other donors. But, while the bored crews of especially British and other European warships obviously enjoy the target practice and destroy the boats, EU NAVFOR even leaves big vessels like the MV RIM adrift, if – as in this case – it is convenient to NOT impound the ship for further investigations, though credible reports stated that the vessel had been an illegal weapons transporter for groups in Yemen. The ship was abandoned by the crew after they killed all their captors under the watch of the EU,

The Lie: All shipowners, whose vessels are held at the Somali coast loose money.

The Reality: While certainly for small shipping companies, whose vessels are not or not directly or indirectly insured against those sea-jackings, a piracy case can sometimes even mean total bankruptcy, a good number of vessels actually made more money during the capture as if they had been free to operate during the time of the hostage crisis. This has to do with the fact that the shipping business is at the moment at a low and many cargo vessels and tankers are sitting jobless at their anchorages and only cost their owners real money. But if a well insured vessel is captured around Somalia, theinsurance pays the shipowner not only the theoretical daily loss (some got around US$50,000 per day), but also the ransom and the costs of the – therefore often prolonged – “negotiations” of the crisis management team and ransom delivery work of the risk management companies involved. This can be a lucrative business and a win-win-situation for the shipowners and the pirates as well. Even theinsurance industry does profit from the Somali piracy with new insurance forms springing up like the K&R (kidnapping and  ransom)  insurance especially for the passage through the Gulf of Aden, which due to stiff competition among the insurers for this lucrative sector, has now become much cheaper for the shipowner, who today only needs to pay as little as US$15,000 per voyage – much cheaper than to hire a bunch of British exSAS mercenaries and their guns. “At first the rates were a little higher than they should have been and then over time insurers realized they could reduce their rates and still make money,” said K&R Manager Greg Bangs.

No wonder that the UK opted to stand against UN measures to stop ransom payments and piratebusiness and is holding up U.N. planned sanctions against several pirates, because London’s finest lawyers and contractors come in and are not interested to have the flow of the money stopped. On the other hand, if piracy is not stopped beforehand, payment is the only safe way to get the ships and crews released.

Sure enough, the final bill is always paid by the end-user of the transported goods and therefore piracy does seriously damage economically, but in the layers in between not only the pirates earn and that lets certain people even in high offices not push for a real solution, which has to be implemented on the ground. Still, also Guillaume Bonnissent at Hiscox Ltd. in London, the world’s largest underwriter for piracy coverage, says the only long-term solution to piracy is to help Somalia. “All the money would be much better spent in assisting the Somalis in capacity building,” he said.

In addition to this, the Somali coastline has become a welcome dumping ground for no longer seaworthy vessels, whereby it is cheaper to stage a case of piracy or distress and sink the vessel than to follow international standards to properly dispose of the vessel at legitimate scrapyards, which adhere to environmental obligations.

The Lie: The navies act under valid UN Security Council Resolutions.

The Reality: The navies have according to international and Somali national law no right whatsoever to enter the 200nm territorial waters of Somalia. The UN Security Council Resolutions, to which repeatedly the navies refer, are explicitly stating that they would be only valid and applicable with the consent of the Somali Government, i.e. the Somali parliament, which never has been given, while a fictive letter of former Somali president Abdullahi Yusuf was never produced and a letter signed “on behalf of the Somali Government” by Mauretanian former UNSRSG Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah is legally nil and void.

The Lie: EU NAVFOR has an agreement with the Somali government concerning the Somali Waters and the fight against piracy.

The Reality: A paper simply signed by the French Ambassadress to Kenya, Ms Elisabeth Barbier – for the EU – and by one Mohamed Ali Nur – “for the Host State – without the knowledge of the Somali parliament in during a clandestine meeting, claiming that the he represented Noor Hassan Hussein (aka Nuur Xasan Xuseen) , who was at the time a Prime Minister in the cabinet of former Somali TFG President Abdullahi Yussuf, is legally nil and void, because it was neither authorized nor ratified by the Somali parliament and does not give the navies of the European states any permission in Somali waters. Neither the signature for the EU nor the one for “the Host State” – somalia – were accompanied by a seal or stamp. It is unbelievable how an agreement sanctioning such far-reaching consequences as outlined in the agreement, incl. the killing of Somali people by foreign forces, could have been handled with such carelessness and negligences of proper process and legal requirements. But it reminds of the highly illegal attempts by the former High Commissioner of Fisheries of the EU, Mme. Emma Bonino, who tried – finally unsuccessful because she was kicked out as EU Commissioner – to obtain illegally fishing licences from one of the Somali warlords. Any issue touching on the sovereignty of Somalia is the prerogative of the Somali parliament – and in case it is touching the Somali territory it is subject to a public referendum. The straight and legal way was completely and illegally circumvented. Nuur Cadde, as he is widely known, obviously received as reward for such favour to the EU and in assumed high treason against his people and state – and after he was relieved from the PM chair and cabinet – the post of TFG-ResRep in Brussels as well as the post of Somali ambassador to Italy – the former colonial power, who still serves as ill-advised lead-country for the European Union. The legitimacy of that agreement also should be challenged from the European side. Italy is the only statelet of the newly empowered European Union, which still channels directly and without EU consent money to Italy’s friends and warlords within the changing governing alliances of the Somali quagmire.

The fake EU NAVFOR framework is misused by states like Norway, who are not even a member of theEuropean Union, but dare to send commando units under EU mandate in mid-night raids into natural harbours of northern Somalia and commit outright murder by killing innocent fishermen from Somalia and Yemen.

In Addition: Nobody gave the EU NAVFOR operation ATALANTA or any European entity the right to monitor fishing in the Somali waters. Though it might have been welcomed if the navies would assist the Somali government and people in the fight against illegal foreign fishing fleets, the fact that not a single of all those vessels fishing illegally , whose presence had been established and monitored over time, was repulsed by the navies, their “monitoring of fishing” must be seen as mere economic spying on the natural resources of Somalia and – as many Somalis claim – the scouting for and protection of illegal foreign fishing ventures.

The Lie: Somalia has no 200nm Somali Waters

The Reality: Since 1972 the international community had respected Somali Law No. 37, which similar to the legal provisions of other recognized nation states like Benin, Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Liberia and Peru, declared 200nm as the territorial waters with all the respective rights and duties.

Since 1989, when Somalia was one of the first 40 signatories who also endorsed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Somalia has – congruent to its territorial waters – an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nm , with all the rights and protection mechanisms the Common Law of the Sea provides to all coastal states. Somalia had declared and never given up these rights, but had to suffer from much illegal activity by foreign interests, which caused the African Union (AU / then the OAU) at the Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management (PACSICOM, Maputo, 1998) to decry specifically the constant violation of the Somali rights in Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and H.E. the Egyptian Ambassador Ahmed Hagag as Assistant Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) – now the African Union (AU) – declared that everybody must respect the 200 nm EEZ of Somalia .

Since 2009 Somalia has also a Continental Shelf Zone of 350 nm, based on international law and Somalia’s claim documented and handed in by Somalia on 17 April 2009 to the UN and the International Seabed Authority before the deadline of 13 May 2009. This timely and well-prepared filing must be seen independently from an ill-advised MOU between certain players from Somalia and Kenya about the common maritime boundary between those two countries. While that MOU has been refused by the Somali parliament and therefore is also not listed any longer as legitimate by the UN, the legal claim laid according to international law concerning the Somali rights to the continental shelf up to 350nm stands firmly. The establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles is the right of all coastal states under international law.

The Lie: All Somalis on the waters are pirates!

The Reality: Though the international community tries hard to overcome outdated piracy legislation by introducing the “circumstancial evidence” as sufficient grounds for a pirate killing or an arrest, prosecution and jailing, legal and less legal pirate hunters want to see that already the carrying of a ladder in a boat is sufficient to prosecute someone for piracy or to serve as reaon for the triggerhappy ones to take a group out. However, “like in real life”, the reality is that along the 3,300 km long coastline of Somalia – the longest of an African nation – you find them all – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. You find the most gentle and hard-working fishermen, whose production is lifesaving for hundred thousands of Somalis in the communities, you find enterprising transporters of all necessary good from flour to petrol, you find local security groups defending the coastal areas and their waters, you find mafia-like militias hired by business adversaries to go after each others transports ranging from rare or embargoed commodities to illegal drugs and weapons and you find real pirate groups going after innocent merchant vessels – earmarked by an international network as good prey for quick and big ransom, and of course you find all the forms of the grey zones in between these categories. The fact that it is impossible for an outsider to distinguish between the different people on boats around the Horn of Africa, is another reason why the local Somali governance must be strengthened to go after and stop the Bad, deal with the Ugly and help the Good. Such essential work can not be left to the blurred vision of foreign navies or their spooks. With the help of the international community in proper coastal development and the improvement of livelihoods for the Somali communities, piracy again will become an issue of the past!

The Lie: There is no illegal fishing in Somali Waters.

The Reality: Illegal fishing continues, but it has like always seasonal peaks and licences still continue to be issued illegally to foreign vessels despite a moratorium by the TFG government since April 2009. The Somali fisheries laws and international regulations stipulate that only a recognized Central government could issue fishing licences to foreign commercial ventures engaged in industrial fishing. While artisanal fisheries of the local communities is regulated by fishing co-operatives under the guidance of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, which could delegate these powers and responsibilities to regional authorities (but hasn’t done so), any foreign or joint venture involving industrial fishing vessels from abroad and the export of fish or other living marine resources like rock-lobsters or sea cucumbers requires a full licence by the TFG, which will only give such out once a new fisheries legislation is in place and proper arrangements are made to enforce and control the regulations and off-takes.

Though the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) issued a report in 2005 stating that, between 2003-2004, Somalia lost about $100 million dollars in revenue due to illegal tuna and shrimp fishing in the country’s exclusive economic zone by foreign trawlers , the average annual loss to foreign marine resources looting in the Somali waters is estimated at around 300mioUS$.

The problem of illegal and overfishing is not only a Somali one: The annual consequential costs due to over-fishing of the oceans have reached 50 Billion US-Dollar, as calculated by the WorldBank and FAO. While losses at Wall Street due to the recent credit crunch have so far been calculated to stand at only 1,5 Billionen Dollar, but allowing financial institutions and bankers to be “rescued” by a 700 Billion Dollar rescue plan – using taxpayer’s money -, NOTHING is done to rescue the oceans!

The Lie: The international community is helping Somalia and the Somalis

The Reality: Hardly any of the funds pledged with top-spin public relations campaigns through the mainstream-media have ever even been set-up to be released. This is not only a Somalia problem and these global lies have now even been criticized by the G20 summit. If some funds were released for Somalia they were for widely criminal WFP operations (now under UN investigations), weapons deliveries and training of Somali fighters, who actually could train their foreign trainers. Even EU NAVFOR escorts for deliveries by ship of only weapons, other military hardware or supplies solely to the AMISOM troops are listed by the navies as escorts of “humanitarian aid”. While the bandwagon NGOs are kept quiet with well-funded “studies” paid for by the intelligence groups, real help on the ground has declined to an all time low since the beginning of the civil war.

Somalia is earmarked to be kept at the lowest end of global misery, which is characterized by unnecessary death: Every hour throughout the world, over 1600 people, most of them childrendiefrom hunger and poverty-related diseases and millions of others struggle to survive without life’s basicnecessities of clean water, food, shelter, education and health care. While cynics proclaim that such would be necessary to slow the growth of human overpopulation, it has been proven over and over again that it is only a distribution problem and those who with military or economic powers maintain such inequality are guilty of the worst crimes against humanity. On Oct. 28, 2009, Barak Obama signed the largest military budget in U.S. history, the 2010 Defense Authorization Act. It’s the world’s largest military budget — in fact, at $680 billion, it’s larger than the military expenditures of the whole rest of the world combined. Today the cost of the Pentagon’s African operations is estimated to be at least $1.5 billion and is growing annually, while t he current global military budget is costing approximately US$160 million dollars every hour, with a minimum of around 15mioUS$ being spent by the naval armada every day around the Horn of Africa.

The Lie: The navies have to escort relief-food shipments to Somalia

The Reality: This is a legend, because hardly any WFP ships can be escorted, since there are none, and it has been a legend even before, because never a WFP vessel with food for Somalia was taken for ransom.

This is because Somali businessmen have to come up with huge bonds in the million dollar range before any WFP shipment is sent to Somalia and this actually has fostered the monopoly of warlords in this business, which recently triggered internal oversight investigations revealing major fraud inside Somalia. But WFP food-aid delivery system still makes it mandatory that first Somali businessmen have to come up with huge bonds secured in first-class banks before any food-relief shipment is sent to Somalia. Since these businessmen are very well respected by their clans, powerful and usually have their own militia, food shipments secured by these bonds are not attacked by other groups, who fear retaliation. This is reflected by the fact that not a single time and not in a single case a loaded WFP ship was seized for ransom – and therefore the naval escort is completely unnecessary. But still the “food-escort”-argument is used by the navies as reason to maintain their presence in the area, con their taxpayers, increase their military spendings and escalate the situation.

  • 05. 06. 2005 – MV SEMLOW – seized with 850 to of rize – due to clan-dispute (after tsunami) because WFP only wanted to deliver to one group.
  • Sept.  2005 – MV MITZOW – seized during offloading WFP food at Merka – business dispute (only seized for a couple of hours)
  • 15. 02. 2007 – MV ROZEN – seized after offloading WFP food on her way back – business-dispute
  • 07. 05. 2008 – MV VICTORIA – attacked in Kisimayo while under WFPcontract – business dispute
  • 08. 05. 2008 – MV VICTORIA – seized after off-loading – business dispute – not under WFP
  • 08. 10. 2008 – MV AS-SALAAM – seized after off-loading WFP food on her way back to Dar-es-Salaam
  • 07. 10. 2008 – JAIKUR II – attacked – business dispute
  • December 2008 – North Korean – ZANG ZASAN CHONG NYONHO (IMO 8133530). Chartered by WFP. She was attacked with small arms fire while under way back to Mombasa from Mogadishu harbour, just while leaving the harbour. One sailor injured? Reason for “fare-well-shots” not known but business dispute presumed.
  • 14. 04. 2009 – MV SEA HORSE: Vessel hijacked by three skiffs and an unknown number of pirates, east of Mogadishu was released within 5 days for no ransom (just facilitation money) after it turned out that the vessel was supposed to go on a WFP charter contract.

Under the disguise of vessel escorts several pure weapons-shipments were escorted by EU NAVFOR but classified as relief shipments. To use humanitarian cover for arms deliveries has been decried by most humanitarian organizations internationally and caused in Somalia serious future conflict for true relief shipments. This especially because under the naval operations along the Somali coast many Somalis were killed and over 450 are missing on the sea, who are suspected by the Somali communities to have been killed by the navies too without reporting these incidences.
This globalist scam has to end and friendly nations, who really want to help the starving Somali population, are advised to revert to the old system and deliver food-aid directly and clearly marked – so that also the recipients truly understand, who really helps them or who uses such scams to enrich a few or follow another agenda with an ulterior motif.

The Lie: Somalia needs to have Foreign Troops on the ground to stabilize

The Reality: To truly fix Somalia by force one would require at least 100,000 to 200,000 troops and be ready to still face a decade-long resistance against any oppressor. Putting just another few thousand on the ground — as the African Union has announced it will do by sending additional 2,000 from Uganda and another 2,000 from Guinea and Djibouti to boost the strength of the Mogadishu-stationed 6,000 from Uganda and Burundi who support the fledging transitional federal government in its city hideout — would only increase the violence and the number of civilians who become regular victims in the crossfire. It could also necessitate sending soldiers from other bordering states like Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, thereby driving the whole region into an escalating conflict and bolstering Al Shabab’s best argument for popular support to stand against the aggressors from the outside. In addition the international community, who is paying hefty sums from taxpayers money to the commanders of these foreign troops in order to see them deployed for little motivating pay, should be aware that they actually provide not only for chaos but also for a cheap whitewashing of regimes which have themselves a very poor human rights record. To allow countries like Guinea to even shout “Here!” in the bidding for the big bucks from the West, which such operations need to pay for the African Union forces, is appalling.

ECOTERRA Intl. states: ” What many people seem to not understand or for specific reasons refuse to understand is that more than half of the Somali dominion is based on the Somali seas and thus vital to the survival of the Somali people. Somalia has since 1972 as Territorial Waters (TW) and – overlaying the same area – since1989 as Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) an area of 825,052 square km of Somali Waters and an additional 55,895 square km as Somali continental shelf zone (CSZ), forming together the marine and maritime dominion of Somalia.

The sum of today’s total internal land area of Somalia with its 637,657 square km and together with the marine area provide for a total of 1,462,709 square km of recognized total Somali area, which with the additional CSZ is expanding to the present Somali sphere of 1,518,604 square km. This without the 350,102 square kilometres comprising of the Ogaden (the Ethiopian-occupied “Somali Region”) with around 200,000 square kilometres, Djibouti with 23,200 km² and the Kenyan-administered North-Eastern Province of 126,902 km² – the so-called Northern Frontier District, which together would give “Greater Somalia” a sphere of 1,868,706 sqkm or 0,37 % of the surface of earth.

The sovereignty over the Somali Sphere extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as to its sea-bed and subsoil, which is now extended to 350nm off the coast.

All creation in the present Somali Sphere of 1,518,604 square kilometres of earth – be it on the 637,657 sqkm of land (42%) or the 880,947 sqkm of the waters and seabed (58%) – has a right to life and must be respected.
These figures and this outline hopefully make it also clear to anybody what importance the marine waters have for the Somali people and the Somali nation and why many from the outside try to get their hands on this strategic territory and its natural resources, thereby trying to push the indigenous Somali interests back and condemning the Somali people to abhorrent poverty and war unless they would give up at least parts of the inheritance of the Pan-Somali Nation.

It must be noted, however, that while diversity provides stability, the strife for dominance by an outside aggressor within any given sphere leads ultimately to the annihilation of the aggressor.”


In short, the trends concerning the piracy phenomenon around the Horn of Africa are as follows:

  • Though at present still the highest number of vessels ever is held at the Somali coast and the UN–lead Somalia-process has completely failed and has collapsed, the international attention concerning piracy has steadily declined and the suffering of hostage-crews as well as of the Somali people in general has reached a new all time high with little or no aid coming forward.
  • Increased use of sea-jacked fishing vessels (often from Yemen) or dhows (often from India) to launch piracy attacks. Approaches / attacks then conducted by 2-3 small open boats with outboard engines and with 3-5 armed persons each in a concerted attack.
  • Increased use of firearms on all sides. The shoot-to-kill and blow-em-out-of-the-waters policies adopted by several navies has led to an increased number of direct fire exchanges. The use of armed personnel and military on fishing vessels has lead to an overall increase of aggression and violence. Taking the attacked vessel and crew immediately under direct fire during a piracy attack was in earlier years unheard of, but is now common. Likewise the the treatment of crews from countries, which have killed or arrested Somalis is declining.
  • Targeting of larger cargo / oil / gas / chemical tankers has increased.
  • Piracy-related incidents have increased in the Gulf of Aden (GOA) and far off the east coast of Somalia since the engagement of EU NAVFOR, NATO, CTFs and warships of non-aligned nations – now up to distances of over 1000 nm from the nearest Somali coast.
  • Negotiations to quickly free vessels are now often hampered by restrictive orders, legal changes and ill-conceived advise given to often ignorant ship-owners.
  • Except for improved defensive measures on merchant ships none of the other responses like the deployment of navies, killing or arresting Somalis as well as destroying of their boats and weapons, talks with proxy-leaders, training of so-called governmental forces etc. had the slightest positive impact to improve the security of maritime traffic in innocent passage and none of these measures did curb Somalia-based piracy around the Horn of Africa.
  • Despite the presence of the naval armada and plenty of of evidence concerning violations of the Somali EEZ of 200nm no foreign-flagged vessels has been intercepted, which had been suspected or proven to carry arms as cargo and in not one single case e.g. the EUNAVFOR operation Atalanta – though they claim that they would “monitor fishing” – has stopped a single foreign-flagged vessel from committing the crime of illegal fishing in the Somali waters, while all foreign fishing licences had been declared nil and void already in April 2008 by the Somali government and no new ones have been issued since.
  • While billions have been and are spent to finance self-serving naval exercises – with those of the EUNAVOR Atalanta were now extended to 2012 – and pointless international conferences or contact-group meetings are dumped into the coffers of the United Nations incl. their agencies like the IMO, no aid – whatsoever – has been set free to improve the situation for the people along the Somali coasts, which especially along the central Somali coast is the only solution to truly safeguard against piracy.
  • The recently predicted move of so-called “piracy” closer to the strategically extremely important area around the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb ( already called in ancient times the “Gate of Scars”) has come true and shows once again the intricate relationship between the “piracy” and wanted provocation of naval response.
  • The decisive move by local elders against the pirate groups in central Somalia has led to the re-opening of piracy lairs in Habo and Bargaal in Puntland.

THE WISH-LIST FOR THE UN AND BAN KI-MOON IS LONG – here only a few in connection with Somalia:

  • End the puppet-games and let the Somali people freely decide, who their leaders shall be. You are not the Somali OverLord and your Special Representative is not the president of Somalia.
  • Order UNHCR to pro-actively work  in solving the refugee-camp situations and not to increase “business”. Refugee camps are not like open-air festivals, and their success is not measured in “as-more-as-better”! Pay and promote UNHCR staff not based on numbers of refugees in a country.
  • Order UNHCR to immediately reinstate special programmes and assistance for minorities among the Somali refugees.
  • Order WFP to never bring any GMO-contaminated food or agricultural seeds into Somalia and put quality controls incl. for pesticide residues in place. Purchase most food-aid locally.
  • Tell the world honestly that the naval escorts actually are not necessary in the moment, because you deal with powerful warlords in Somalia to handle the food donated by global taxpayers and that they might only be necessary for a transitional phase when you change the present system and would push for fair and free food distribution.
  • Squash UN Security Resolution 1851 immediately, because it is based on a fictive, never presented and if existing somewhere illegal letter as well as a violation of international law.
  • And last but not least: Have your own government of South-Korea impose a strict ban for S.-Korea-linked illegal fishing vessels to stay out of the Somali waters – at once and for all time.


  • a) Imposing strictest control on all vessels entering the Somali waters, starting from the 350nm continental shelf zone and especially on foreign fishing vessels and waste-dumping ships. Compulsory installation and monitoring of all IOTC authorized fishing vessels with Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) as well as gear- and catch-control monitoring via satellite-transmitted NV-CCTV-real-time observation day and night.
  • b) Holistic development of coastal regions along the two Ocean coasts incl. fisheries and a coastguard, which is not financed by one of the shady “fish-for-protection”deals of the past.
  • c) Strengthening of local institutions in regional self-governance.
  • d) All vessels, including naval ships must stay outside the EEZ, i.e the 200nm zone of the Somali Indian Ocean coast and outside the 50%-part of the waters of the Gulf of Aden, which belongs to Somalia, unless a permitted and secured approach to the three legitimate harbours Berbera, Bosaaso and Mogadishu has been received by legitimate authorities of the Somali government. In the Somali half of the Gulf of Aden as well as in the 350nm continental shelf zone of the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia foreign research vessels have to abstain from any activity.
  • e) An independent tribunal, authorized by the UN must carry out an independent assessment on the alleged duping of toxic and radioactive waste in Somalia, particularly in the area of the port of Eel Ma’aan, the Garowe-Bosasso road and Bosasso harbour; while the Italian Government must create a strong coordination among all the investigative Authorities (Procura della Repubblica) which have been, and still are, working on the issue of toxic and radioactive waste trade, to identify and neutralize the network of people and enterprises managing illegal waste trade and dumping. The EU must finally and fully implement its own toxic waste prevention measures and implement measures to curb illegal fishing as well as trade in illegally caught marine products.
  • f) Independent monitoring of the Somali waters with respect to illegal fishing and waste dumping must finally be funded and implemented.
  • g) Foreign Navies must contribute to peace-making and not be an obstacle to it by siding in or triggering further warfare on the waters around the Horn of Africa or commit crimes or injustices themselves. Foreign navies have to recognize and respect the sovereignty of Somalia as a whole and must not interfere into the internal affairs of Somalia by side-lining with certain regional or local authorities, warlords or elders without the knowledge or consent of the Somali government and parliament. If most of the considerable military expenditure of the naval forces around the Horn of Africa would be redirected away from reactive military pseudo-solutions and towards proactive economic reconstruction and poverty alleviation in the Horn and Eastern Africa, then the problem of piracy will be countered more effectively than with the present war on the waters.
  • h) The UN/US/EU-tool World Food Programme (FAO) – at present the best weapon of Global Governance – must abstain from following those classical lines:
  • In the end – they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, MAKE US YOUR SLAVES, BUT FEED US!
  • (–The Grand Inquisitor, in The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky)
  • and the WFP as well as donor countries must guarantee to not deliver any food, which is derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or contains pesticide residues. Most food aid should be purchased locally or in the region and not persistently disrupt local agricultural producer regimes.

For further details and regional information see the Somali Marine and Coastal Monitor and the updated map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA. See the archive at www.australia.to and news on www.international.to

EMERGENCY HELPLINE: sms/call +254-719-603-176 / +254-733-633-733
East Africa ILLEGAL FISHING AND DUMPING HOTLINE: +254-714-747090 (confidentiality guaranteed) – email: office[at]ecoterra.net
EA Seafarers Assistance Programme : Call: +254-734-437838 or +254-714-747090 or SMS to+254-738-497979

ECOTERRA Intl. is an international nature protection and human rights organization, whose Africa offices in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania also monitor the marine and maritime situation along the East African Indian Ocean coasts as well as the Gulf of Aden. ECOTERRA is working in Somalia since 1986 and does focus in its work against piracy mainly on coastal development and pacification.


Who Are the Real Pirates in Somalia?

by Dr. Alexander Mezyaev, Head, Chair of the International Law, Governance Academy (Kazan’)


A new international anti-piracy plan proposed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was discussed on August 25. Russia is suggesting the establishment of an intentional court to try pirates, and the UN Secretary General offers several anti-piracy options:

  • The establishment of a Somali or UN-assisted court in a third state in the region;

  • The establishment by a regional state or states – possibly with the UN involvement – of a special court inside its existing judicial system to conduct piracy trials;

  • The creation of a regional tribunal on the basis of a multilateral agreement and with the UN taking a role in it;

  • The establishment of an international tribunal via a UN Security Council resolution on the basis of Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

The UN plan, however, is essentially limited to prosecuting pirates and contains no mentioning of the struggle against piracy as a phenomenon, thus failing to address the reasons behind the problem.

According to the UN Secretary General, the number of piracy-related incidents grew over the past two years – from 111 in 2008 to 217 in 2009, plus 30 attacks were reported in the first quarter of 2010. From a broader perspective, the question is: are all of the above incidents indeed attributable to pirates?

Russian marines took in custody several pirates last year during the operation against a gang which hijacked a Russian ship off Somalia’s coast, but the detainees never faced justice. Details of the story remained obscure. It was reported initially that the Russian prosecution opened a case in accord with Article 277 of the Russian criminal code titled Piracy, but the members of the gang were released – and tentatively perished in the sea – shortly thereafter… The explanation is that the Russian criminal code applies exclusively to Russia’s territory and Russian courts lack the jurisdiction to conduct trials of pirates over attacks against ships outside of Russia’s territorial waters. In the latter case, the applicable definition of piracy is given by Article 101 of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. This should be no reason to let perpetrators of the attacks avoid prosecution – they can, for example, be put on trial for robbery in the sea.

The key legal question in the piracy cases is whether the international community is indeed encountering pirates and if it is – are they Somali pirates? The 1982 Convention states clearly that piracy is an act perpetrated in the open sea, that is, not in any country’s territorial seas and adjacent zones. The 1982 Convention limited the maximal width of a territorial sea to 12 nautical miles(roughly 22 km), but Somalia had set its territorial sea width at 200 nautical miles (370 km) by its Law # 37 of 1972. The latter law establishes that only ships under the Somali flag or those with a license from the Somali government are authorized to sail or fish in the country’s territorial waters. Similarly, several countries – Congo, Benin, Ecuador, Salvador, Liberia, and Peru – set their territorial sea widths at 12 nautical miles, meeting with no objections from others as there are no legal grounds for disputes over the matter.

Problems arise in the case of Somalia solely due to the fact that the country has no effective central government, and the demise of the Somali statehood opens vast opportunities to loot its natural resources. Somalia was under pressure – especially from France, Norway, and Spain – to scrap the 1972 law during the reign of Mohamed Siad Barre whose ouster in 1991 triggered the country’s collapse. Several countries hoped the waters would be opened for fishing and, moreover, oil grands were also keenly interested in the region.

Considering the specific navigational situation in the region, it would be a reasonable view that the ships attacked by pirates off Somalia’s coast actually invaded the Somali territorial waters. Moreover, in many cases the hijacked ships sailed there with the purpose of illegal fishing or commerce and in fact could be regarded as perpetrators of piracy. For example, Ukraine’s Faina was carrying an arms cargo.

The incidents off Somalia’s coast do not constitute piracy. Trials of the “Somali pirates” were conducted in a number of European countries and led to verdicts in which piracy was not mentioned. In June, 2010 five Somalians faced charges of piracy in the Gulf of Aden at the Rotterdam court but were eventually sentenced to five years in jail for robbery (I even find the robbery charges unfair as in the case Somalians used force against those who invaded the Somali territorial waters).

The Somali pirates are a myth floated by the global media to divert attention from the international criminal activity taking place in the territorial waters and on the marine shelf of Somalia. The crimes are the looting of Somalia’s natural resources and the economic terror against the population of the country. Likewise examples can be found in history. A decade ago a UN special commission and the International Court of Justice probed into the responsibility of Rwanda and Uganda for eating into the natural resources of Congo. In December, 2005 the International Court of Justice ruled that Uganda was guilty and owed compensations to Congo. Absent the corresponding jurisdiction, the International Court of Justice did not open proceedings against Rwanda.

Who are the real “Somali pirates”? Neither legally nor de facto, the citizens of the war-ruined Somalia count as such – acting illegally, they do fare for themselves in the 200-mile territorial waters and on the 350-mile marine shelf which belong to them. It is even more true that those who defend the zones against various predators are not pirates. The real “Somali pirates“ are those who have engineered the collapse of Somalia’s statehood or are taking advantage of the situation to squeeze natural resources from the country. The new UN plan is not intended to fight these pirates. Hopefully, the founders of the new tribunal will make the same mistake that was made when the former ones were established. The tribunal will not stop the looting, but – if international defenders are daring enough – inadvertently it will help unmask the root causes of what is happening. Therefore, the idea of a new international anti-piracy tribunal is more than welcome.


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