Tag Archives: pirates

The Pirates Of Somalia –Who Are They?

There most probably has always been piracy off the coast of Africa but it is quite apparent the emergence of Somlian pirates has added a new element to one of the world’s oldest crimes– seizing ships on high seas. The non-existent nation of Somalia has created such turmoil and confusion as well as high rates of unemployment that discovering young men seek to become pirates is no surprise. After all, young men and women in America seek to become Wall Street pirates which may not be that far from Somali men entering piracy and justifying it on grounds that international vessels are intruding on their fishing grounds and dumping toxic waste. Most probably, even without such justification the allure of easy money is as enticing to them as it is to young Americans on Wall Street.

Ironically, the solution to piracy on high seas lies in assisting Somalia to become an actual state with a vibrant economy and a stable government. If the Somalia government could control its own territory there would not be pirates. Perhaps it is time for the American government to cease worrying about Islamic governments in control of Somalia and focus on a government being in control.
Some experts are seeking connections between al-Qaeda and the pirates but these young men are simply modern entrepreneurs and they are making millions. Piracy on high seas invariably is connected to lack of opportunity on land. Few nations in the world match the poverty and madness of life in Somalia so it is no surprise enterprising young men venture out in their speed boats in search of wealthy rewards.

Pirates On The High Seas Hijack Bigger Ships

Back in the olden days pirates would hoist their flag and board ships to plunder and then head their merry way to a safe harbor. Today, modern pirates come, not with sword and musket, but with grenade launchers and swift little boats that do not hoist any flags. Somalian pirates have made waters off the coast of east Africa an adventure in dodging their swift boats, but the recent capture by pirates of a huge 329 metre tanker has raised the stakes. If the pirate escapades continue it will impact the price of oil since so many ships which sail the coast of east Africa are carrying oil from the Middle East. The weekend’s seizure of the oil tanker Sirius Star, has made clear no ship is safe as long as it sails near the east African shore.

During the past decade, ship captains were told to stay at least 200 nautical miles off the African coast, but the Sirius Star was 450 nautical miles away and south of Somalia when it was boarded.

Ordinarily, pirates make their demands for money, the money is paid, and pirates continue their operations. Perhaps, it is time for a new approach in which extensive naval ships are ordered into the area and pirates are killed. Unfortunately, some hostages will be killed in such operations, but without aggressive action pirates will go their merry way of plunder.