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It has transpired that under the persistent covert interests of European countries (especially Spain and France) in the rich fishing grounds of Somalia and fronted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) a renewed attempt is made to strip Somalia of its 200 nm territorial waters by a double-faced approach promising assistance to re-claim” the 200nm EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

Somalia as an internationally recognized nation state has similar to Peru, territorial waters of 200 nautical miles (nm), based on Law No. 37 on the Territorial Sea and Ports, of 10 September 1972. This law states clearly that Somalia lays claim to this area as territorial waters, to the natural resources and especially to the oil-exploration and fishing rights in these territorial waters. Under this law even the regular transportation of persons and goods between Somali ports is reserved for vessels flying the Somali flag, and other authorised vessels only with a licence and permission from the legitimate Somali government and not by a regional government.

This is what lets some greedy players not sleep and they try by all means to strip Somalia of this law.

The hour seems ideal, because the legitimate Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is under siege and local governments of recently established Federal Regional States like Puntland seek since long a legal loophole to exploit mineral- as well as marine-resources in collaboration with western powers just by themselves and without the oversight of the core-government, which is the sole authority who actually could issue licences for oil-exploration and fishing rights, but also would have to defend the interests of all Somali people to benefit from these national assets.

Furthermore states like the USA do not like to recognise and/or respect this law and pressurise also other states to give up their 200nm of territorial waters established by acts of law, because they want to be able to approach any coastal state straight and at least up to 12nm with their canon-boats. A recent incident in the South-China Sea nearly brought military action between China and the U.S.

It, however, must be recognized that any change to the territorial sovereignty of Somalia would require a public referendum of all Somalis, a task much harder to obtain than a Yea by the UN-paid parliamentarians. But the UN is already hard on it to change the constitution and the transitional charter in a way, which also would make such rip-off easier.

In addition Somalia has an exclusive economic zone of 200nm based on the United Nations Common Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) derived from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which Somalia was one of the first 40 signatories and which was ratified by the Somali parliament on 24 July 1989 – already five years before the required number of countries signed on to make it applicable. The convention came into force on 16 November 1994 and is therefore binding for all signatory states – even if they have not recognised subsequent Somali governments after 6 January 1991.

It thereby doesn’t matter that certain states and groups repeatedly try to create the impression that Somalia does not have an EEZ by arguing that the relevant maps are not shown on the UN website. The Somali government had declared its EEZ already in 1989 – notwithstanding the Somali Law No. 37 governing the 200nm zone also as territorial waters – and the charts were with the relevant UN offices before the war.

However, the trick the players now try again on the Somalis is that the say: “Somalia should re-establish it’s EEZ” , while this would only be a win-win situation for those who want to strip Somalia of its rights for their own benefit.

A new document for the so-called “establishment of the EEZ”, if signed by the TFG and/or regional state authorities, contains the sentences that Somalia and/or the respective regional state would have to give up its rights to the 200 nm territorial waters and restrict that right to only 12nm. In addition it would manifest that Somalia would give up its claims concerning earlier violations off the EEZ by foreign fishing-, research-, oil-exploration-, or continental-shelf examination-vessels, which have been documented. This all shall be brushed under the carpet.

Somalia has also a Continental Shelf Zone (CSZ) 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. The alo in this respect very important delineation of the boundaries (for example, between Kenya and Somalia or between Djibouti and Somalia) have been and are clear since Somalia signed and ratified UNCLOS in 1989, which established the 90 degrees rule. Attempts to bend or alter these existing legal regimes, which like in the case of Kenya was instigated by Norwegian oil-interests, must bee defended against by Somalia for the benefit of its future generations.

It is outrageous to witness the perverse scene where a fat man in a bowler-hat and two under barrets try to steal the last bread from a starving Somali man down on his knees, while the crowd of the so-called international community is watching this renewed attempt of a blatant day-light robbery. Only 46 countries and thereby just 25% of global nations joined the club of the so-called contact group financed by tuna-hungry Japan.

Somalia must finally look to get help from the people of the 150 other states, who are not colluding in the plot to persistently destroy Somalia with impunity. Otherwise also criminal regimes like piracy never will end.

Read More at www.australia.to



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, marine protection and pacification.

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  1. dadir says:

    The writter of this article is right on the mark to suggest that Professor Ibbi, ina abdishakur of the TFG are working inconjuction with puntland in their efforts to ripp somalia off . It also suggests that Omar abdirashid whose signature was falsified in “Somali’s Continental Shelf” who also cried faul when told he authorised such transaction is with these National thieves. It is true in an upside-down world.