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Курсовик Piracy around Somalia: how the pirates operate. Provide a coastguard for Somalia. Potential environmental catastrophe. Possible co-opting by international terrorist networks. Organize shipping into a safe lane. Anti-piracy measures, military presence.


Тип работы: Курсовик. Предмет: Ин. языки. Добавлен: 04.06.2009. Сдан: 2009. Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.

Описание (план):

Piracy in Somalia
Threatening global trade, feeding local wars
1. Piracy around Somalia
1.1 How the pirates operate
1.2 Where the pirates originate
1.3 Ransoms
1.4 New trends
1.5 The international response
Box 1: A victim's story
2. Why it matters to the international community
2.1 What piracy does to Somalia
2.2 What piracy does to international trade
2.3 Potential environmental catastrophe
2.4 Possible co-opting by international terrorist networks
Box 2: Private security and Somali piracy
3. Options for the international community
3.1 Organize shipping into a safe lane
3.2 Provide a coastguard for Somalia
3.3 A large naval presence
3.4 Pay no ransoms
3.5 Do nothing
4.Anti-piracy measures. Military presence
List of addresses
Summary points
· Piracy off the coast of Somalia has more than doubled in 2008; so far over 60 ships have been attacked. Pirates are regularly demanding and receiving million-dollar ransom payments and are becoming more aggressive and assertive.
· The international community must be aware of the danger that Somali pirates could become agents of international terrorist networks. Already money from ransoms is helping to pay for the war in Somalia, including funds to the US terror-listed Al-Shabaab.
· The high level of piracy is making aid deliveries to drought-stricken Somalia ever more difficult and costly. The World Food Programme has already been forced to temporarily suspend food deliveries. Canada is now escorting WFP deliveries but there are no plans in place to replace their escort when it finishes later this year.
· The danger and cost of piracy (insurance premiums for the Gulf of Aden have increased tenfold) mean that shipping could be forced to avoid the Gulf of Aden/Suez Canal and divert around the Cape of Good Hope. This would add considerably to the costs of manufactured goods and oil from Asia and the Middle East. At a time of high inflationary pressures, this should be of grave concern.
· Piracy could cause a major environmental disaster in the Gulf of Aden if a tanker is sunk or run aground or set on fire. The use of ever more powerful weaponry makes this increasingly likely.
· There are a number of options for the international community but ignoring the problem is not one of them. It must ensure that WFP deliveries are protected and that gaps in supply do not occur.
Piracy Piracy is defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as:
` Piracy consists of any of the following acts:
(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a
private aircraft, and directed:
i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;
(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;
(c) any act inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b).
Piracy is considered to occur in international waters while Armed Robbery at Sea occurs in territorial waters or in port. off the coast of Somalia is growing at an alarming rate and threatens to drastically disrupt international trade. It provides funds that feed the vicious war in Somalia and could potentially become a weapon of international terrorism or a cause of environmental disaster. For long piracy has been a problem mostly associated with the Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia, but it is now a growing issue for fragile African states. Up to 25 September 2008, 61 actual and attempted hijacks had been recorded by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) . In the last week of August 2008 alone four vessels were captured, and the year has seen Somali piracy rise up the news agenda, propelled by the capture of the Luxury yacht Le Ponant and the kidnap of a German couple who had been sailing their yacht through the Gulf of Aden. Since the end of 2007 piracy activity has shifted away from the Mogadishu port area and into the Gulf of Aden. The actual number of attacks could well be higher: not all incidents will have been reported as there is much illegal activity in Somali waters, and the official statistics do not measure the impact of piracy on Somali coastal trade. Some 16,000 ships a year pass through the Gulf of Aden, carrying oil from the Middle East and goods from Asia to Europe and North America. So one of the most important trade routes in the world is now threatened by the chronic instability in Somalia. Piracy has been a problem in Somali waters for at least ten years. However, the number of attempted and successful attacks has risen over the last three years. The only period during which piracy virtually vanished around Somalia was during the six months of rule by the Islamic Courts Union in the second half of 2006. This indicates that a functioning government in Somalia is capable of controlling piracy. After the removal of the courts piracy re-emerged. With little functioning government, long, isolated, sandy beaches and a population that is both desperate and used to war, Somalia is a perfect environment for piracy to thrive.
1. Piracy around Somalia
1.1 How the pirates operate
Pirates operate using small skiffs with powerful outboard engines that can be pulled up onto the beach. These boats are fast and maneuverable but they lack the range necessary for richer pickings. Pirates now regularly use `mother ships' to increase their range. The IMB recently put out a warning identifying potential mother ships. IMB, Pictures of suspected pirate mother vessels, 13 August 2008. icc-ccs.org/main/piracy_al.php?newsid=20, accessed 21 August 2008. These are generally fishing trawlers that the pirates capture closer to shore and then use as staging posts for attacks further out to sea. Reports from a Yemeni fishing vessel that appears to have been used as a mother ship indicate that the pirates patrolled the entrance to the Gulf of Aden in the captured vessel and then deserted it in their skiffs once a suitable target was spotted. The use of mother ships helps to explain how pirates have managed to increase their range so dramatically; the old warning to stay at least 50 nautical miles from the coast has now been replaced by warnings to stay at least 200 nautical miles away. It is generally thought that from sighting pirates to being boarded takes approximately fifteen minutes. Such a short space of time helps to explain why even with international patrols in the area ships are still captured. To prevent an attack a naval vessel would need to be close and have a helicopter ready to go at moment's notice. This is not to say that prevention is impossible: the USS Peleliu was able to scare pirates away from the Gem of Kilakari on 8 August 2008 after launching helicopters, but the Peleliu was only ten miles away and able to respond quickly. In other circumstances captains must take whatever evasive action they can. In one instance a tugboat put itself into a high-speed spin and continued until the attackers gave up and left. Other less nauseous ways of preventing boarding include sonic cannon and water guns. Sonic cannon can only point in one direction, however, so an attack by more than one skiff renders them ineffective. The other serious complaint about using non-lethal weapons to deter pirates is the lack of protection they offer to crew members, who become sitting targets for pirates with automatic weapons and rocket launchers while operating the device. It is possible to identify the factors that make a ship more vulnerable: low sides, low speed, low crew numbers and lack of adequate watch-keeping. Pirates have consistently targeted ships with low sides (including Le Ponant and the Danica White) as these are easier to board from their own low skiffs. At present it seems that scaling the high sides of large oil tankers is beyond their capabilities. It should be pointed out that this did not prevent them from taking speculative pot shots at the Japanese tanker MV Takayama with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). Johan Lillkung, `They opened fire with machine guns and rockets', The Observer. 27 April 2008. guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/27/somalia. Low speeds also make a vessel more vulnerable; the pirates' small vessels can move fast and sluggish transport tankers and pleasure yachts will have difficulty evading determined attackers. There is little that a ship-owner with a slow, low-sided ship can do in such circumstances. But some problems can be ameliorated. Low crew numbers have become increasingly common as higher insurance premiums and fuel costs cut into ship-owner's margins. Without a full complement of crew it is impossible to maintain a sufficient watch in dangerous waters, making evasive measures less effective.
1.2 Where the pirates originate
Puntland, the semi-autonomous region in the northeast of the country, appears to be the base for most pirates in Somalia. A small number of acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden may originate in Yemen but most illegal activity originating there is connected to fishing and protecting fishing grounds. Traditionally, most pirates, including the infamous Afweyne, come from Harardheere (Xaradheere) and Hobyo in Central Somalia - although Afweyne is reportedly unlikely to be involved in current operations. The Mayor of Eyl has asserted that `the pirates who hijacked the ships are the same ones who received ransom payments before'. This would support other reports that the pirates are not engaged only in one-off attacks but are in the business for the long term. The fact that the pirates originate from Puntland is significant as this is also the home region of President Abdullahi Yusuf. As one expert said, `money will go to Yusuf as a gesture of goodwill to a regional leader - so even if the higher echelons of Somali government and clan structure are not directly involved in organizing piracy, they probably do benefit. Puntland is one of the poorest areas of Somalia, so the financial attraction of piracy is strong. Somalia's fishing industry has collapsed in the last fifteen years and its waters are being heavily fished by European, Asian and African ships. Some pirates have claimed that they are involved in protecting Somalia's natural resources and that ransom payments should be viewed as legitimate taxation. Indeed the pirates captured by France following the Le Ponant incident had a manual of good conduct. In any case, in a region where legitimate business is difficult, where drought means agriculture is nothing more than subsistence farming, and instability and violence make death a very real prospect, the dangers of engaging in piracy must be weighed against the potentially massive returns. (An unsubstantiated rumour offers a further hint as to the emergence of piracy in Somalia and illustrates how good intentions can backfire. In the 1990s a private security firm had a contract to establish coastguard facilities. The exercise fizzled out but some analysts now trace the nautical skills of the pirates to that experiment and anecdotal evidence suggests that equipment meant for the coastguard has been used in piracy expeditions. Captured sailors have also reported that pirates who held them claimed to have been former coastguards - see Box 1.) The small village of Eyl and others right up to the tip of Somalia have played host to many recently hijacked ships. The pirates have generally taken captured vessels to small ports like Eyl and held them there until ransom has been paid. The notable exception to this rule was the case of Juen K. and Sabine M., the German achters taken into the mountains and held on land ordays until they were released on 9 August following a ransom payment believed to be between alf-a-million and one million dollars.14 Clearly, the difference here was that the vessel itself held no value but the two sailors did.
1.3 Ransoms
If Somalia provides the perfect environment for piracy, it is the payment of massive ransoms that provides the motivation. A few years ago ransoms were in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars range. So far in 2008 they have hovered between half-a-million and two million dollars, although recent reports indicate that demands have again shot up; $3.5 million has been demanded for the release of the MV Stella Maris which has been held since 20 July.15 Total ransom payments for 2008 probably lie in the range of US$18-30 million. Inflation of ransom demands makes this an ever more lucrative business. Shipping firms, and sometimes governments, are prepared to pay these sums since they are relatively small compared with the value of a ship, let alone the life of crew members. The internationalshipping association BIMCO has said that the payment of ransoms has probably exacerbated the situation and would prefer the industry not to pay, but it recognizes that there is little alternative as long as any sort of rescue or intervention is unlikely. As pirates become more brazen, it seems unlikely that shipping firms will be prepared to risk the loss of life and equipment for the greater good.
1.4 New trends
The most noticeable change in the past year has been the shift in the main area of activity. Whereas in 2007 a lot of piracy was focused on Southern Somalia and Mogadishu port where, according to the UN monitoring group, port officials helped facilitate several attacks,4 Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1766 (2007). 24 April 2008.
daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N08/290/68/PDF/N0829068.pdf?OpenElement. in 2008 the vast majority of attacks have taken place in the Gulf of Aden. This makes sense since, as noted above, the Gulf is a major shipping route with around 16,000 vessels passing through each year and offers much richer pickings than Mogadishu. The funnel-like shape of the Gulf also means that shipping is easier to locate and hunt down than in the sea off Somalia's southern coast. As will be discussed below, this shift in focus should be of great concern to the international community.
The pirates have improved their equipment and now use GPS systems and satellite phones. It is also likely that they are plugged into an international network that feeds information from ports in the Gulf, Europe and Asia back to Somalia. All this, coupled with their use of mother ships, now gives them a greater ability to find and capture potential targets. Pirates are no longer simply opportunists; their operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are likely to continue developing in this direction if responses do not change. Establishing how organized the piracy gangs are is difficult but the growth in activity in 2008 seems to indicate that this is becoming an increasingly professional operation. Some reports say numbers of pirates have increased from the hundreds to the thousands.
Worryingly, it appears that pirates are becoming more aggressive; East Africa analysts report that pirates are using MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence Systems) in territorial waters and several recent reports indicate that they have begun to use RPGs during their attacks. In the past their method of attack was limited to firing automatic weapons as they approached a vessel, and the use of grenade launchers introduces a much greater risk of loss of life and damage to property. The firing of RPGs at tankers (such as at the Takayama) should be a reason for grave concern, particularly because of the risk of fire. In general captured crew are well treated, although the enormous psychological strain should not be underestimated, but two examples demonstrate that there is nothing romantic about being held by pirates. The two German yachters referred to earlier reported that they had been beaten, and crew aboard the Lehmann Timber reported that they lacked food and water and that their captors were becoming increasingly erratic as their captivity dragged on. 16 Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1766 (2007). 24 April 2008.
The first reported fatality was reported by the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) onAugust 2008 after pirates had boarded a palm oil tanker three days earlier. If pirates are becoming more ruthless it is likely to be only a matter of time before more people are killed. And operating in an area full of rich pickings and with enormous rewards on offer seems likely to point to a trajectory of increasing ruthlessness.
1.5The international response
The international community has made several attempts to deal with the issue of piracy around Somalia. The most successful has been escorts for World Food Programme ships which had been unable to enter Somali waters until France, Denmark, the Netherlands and most recently Canada agreed to provide naval escorts from November 2007 to June 2008. A more general approach has focused on Combined Taskforce 150 (CTF150), a coalition naval taskforce covering the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. CTF150's primary responsibility is to assist in the `war on terror', so piracy is lower on their list of priorities. However some of the roughly fifteen ships making up CTF150 have been involved in deterring pirate attacks. To strengthen the hand of international naval forces, on 2 June 2008 the UN Security Council passed the US/France-sponsored resolution 1816 that gives foreign warships the right to enter Somali waters `for the purposes of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea' by `all necessary means' UN SC Resolution 1816. unhcr.org/refworld/country,,UNSC,,SOM,,48464c622,0.html. The most recent initiative involves the establishment of a `Maritime Security Patrol Area' (MSPA) which coalition navies will patrol. The hope is that shipping will stay in these zones and hence be in range of military assistance if they are threatened. To date these measures do not seem to have had much impact, although it is too early to comment on the efficacy of the MSPA.
The hijack of two Malaysian tankers prompted Malaysia to send three ships to the Gulf of Aden in September 2008; however, these will only have responsibility for escorting MISC ships.24 In recent years India has begun to take a greater interest in the African side of the Indian Ocean Rim for a number of reasons including a desire to compete with China, but the danger of piracy is also of concern. The Indian navy has indicated a willingness to send support to the Gulf of Aden. Indeed it has gone so far as tore mind the government that it is ready to help ships carrying Indian nationals. However, analysts assert that the Indian government is reluctant to involve itself with the internal affairs of another country.
To date France is the country that has taken the most robust stand against piracy off Somalia. Following the ransom payment and the release of Le Ponant, French naval special forces tracked down and arrested six pirates who are now awaiting trial in France. Again, when a French pleasure yacht was captured on 2 September, President Sarkozy authorized a successful assault on the boat that rescued the sailors, killed one pirate and captured the rest. Although French action is robust, it is unlikely to act as a deterrent for future attacks since the potential rewards of piracy still far outweigh the potential risks. So far the two operations have not resulted in the death of a hostage but that is a danger that must be considered before future operations are launched. Resources concentrated on preventing piracywill produce greater benefits than those used on dramatic rescues. The EU has established a mission under the ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) to provide a coordination cell (EU NAVCO) for the fight against piracy. 29 Official Journal of the European Union L 252/39, 20 September 2008. eur-lex.europa.eu/JOIndex.do.
Coordination of the different naval and air assets in the region could help to improve the efficacy of the fight against piracy. However, at present this cell consists of Commander Andres Breijo-Claur, seconded from the Spanish navy, and only four others, who will receive only 60,000 euro to facilitate their work. While it is to be welcomed that the EU is taking some action, and the difficulty in organizing common defence action is recognized, this effort may well turn out to be more symbolic than practical. The area of coordination is one in which the EU could provide very useful assistance if the cell is properly staffed and financed.
Box 1: A victim's story
Captain Darch was the skipper of the Svitzer Korsakov when it was boarded by pirates on 1 February 2008. He and his five crew mates were held for 47 days, until 18 March.

At about 3pm on Friday 1 February, seventy miles north of Cape Gwardafuy, I was alerted by a shout. On our starboard side were five pirates in a six-metre white plastic boat powered by 48hp Yamaha engines. I thrashed the tug to the left, then right, forcing them to sheer away. This cat and mouse game continued until another boat with four more approached. I knew we couldn't avoid them so I stopped our engine. The pirates next attempted to winch their boats to ours but only succeeded in dumping their spare ammunition into the sea. Later the first onto to the bridge said; `I am Andrew and speak English. This is Omar, our Captain. Do as you are told.'
On the orders of `Capt. Omar' we moved south. By late Sunday we arrived in Eyl where15 more pirates boarded our ship. From then on around twenty were always aboard, including their personal Mullah. I convinced Omar to let us go north to Gabbac, a more sheltered spot. One pirate called A и т.д.................

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