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Piracy Somalia

This is a discussion on Piracy Somalia within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by STURM Curious if the Somali pirates are high on khat when on 'operations' at sea. Good question ...


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Old January 21st, 2011   #31
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Curious if the Somali pirates are high on khat when on 'operations' at sea.
Good question -- Khat is supposed to have a very short shelf life, only 2-3 days.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #32
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The big question is what will happen to the pirates that were captured. Unless there have been other changes those pirates will just be released.
Hopefuly they will release the pirates!

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Old January 21st, 2011
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Old January 21st, 2011
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Old January 21st, 2011   #33
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execute them., more body bags the better.
Right, execute people who before their move into piracy were living in absolute poverty, while the Pirate bosses continue to make massive amounts of money of the operation, how many Somali youth do you think would be willing to put their hands up for the kind of a payday that a successful ransom would bring them, a couple of thousand maybe?

There are plenty more where they came from, it's the Bosses you want not the unskilled grunt.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #34
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Right, execute people who before their move into piracy were living in absolute poverty, while the Pirate bosses continue to make massive amounts of money of the operation, how many Somali youth do you think would be willing to put their hands up for the kind of a payday that a successful ransom would bring them, a couple of thousand maybe?

There are plenty more where they came from, it's the Bosses you want not the unskilled grunt.
then kill their bosses too. Remember Somalia has no government and they do not respect anything. Somalia is also a hot bed for al qaeda. so you want to be lenient with them then thats really incomprehensible.
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Old January 21st, 2011   #35
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then kill their bosses too. Remember Somalia has no government and they do not respect anything. Somalia is also a hot bed for al qaeda. so you want to be lenient with them then thats really incomprehensible.
I'm all for actively targeting Pirate activities, and if spotted in the act of Piracy etc, use the main gun, however executing these pirates once caught will have little effect on stemming the problem, and would cause more international legal and rights issues than it would be worth.
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Old January 22nd, 2011   #36
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I'm all for actively targeting Pirate activities, and if spotted in the act of Piracy etc, use the main gun, however executing these pirates once caught will have little effect on stemming the problem, and would cause more international legal and rights issues than it would be worth.
You're right, robsta83. The sign wavers would be out everywhere while those without signs would be on ervery phone-in and talk show available.
Al Qaeda members would swoon with delight at the God-given opportunity to malign the Crusader infidels and, in certain influential Western circles, the wringing of hands would provide more white noise than most could stand.

The better bet would be a concerted effort to provide legal, on-board defence for merchant vessels in high risk areas; set up Q-ship patrols, and become extraordinarily "robust" (as they say) in the matter of armed naval patrols by participating nations.

Captured pirates should be held for trial at the Hague and the question of execution should be a matter for government and public debate as this thing develops. Oh, yes. Pre- and post-facto asistance to the pirates along with the financing of their activities should carry the same punishable weight as the more egregious pirate acts themselves.

Pirate vessels captured should probably be destroyed, with the exception of those vessels used for piracy as a result of their capture by the pirates. These should be returned to their egistered owners.
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Old January 22nd, 2011   #37
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Thanks for all that good stuff, OPSSG. I guess, in both instances, the proverbial foot "came down hard".

To those who insist that alll this is just a case or two of poor fishermen on the beach with no other way of scratching out some sort of living, one can only suggest a re-read of OPSSG's postings and then some quiet consideration of what it takes for indigent fishermen to mount piratical raids of the general nature cited,

The "those" I mention are the significant number who don't touch base with sites like this.
The indigent fishermen are those doing the actual piracy & taking the risks, e.g. those killed by the Koreans. You have to kill a huge number of them to make much impact on piracy, as Robsta says.

The lawyers, accountants, PR men, negotiators, informants, etc. employed by the warlords who run a lot of (most?) Somali piracy are probably much more susceptible to pressure, & harder to replace. But they keep away from where they might get shot at, as do their employers.

It will end either when Somalia becomes stable & secure enough to stop it at source (don't hold your breath), or when it becomes unprofitable or too risky for those in charge.
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Old January 22nd, 2011   #38
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The indigent fishermen are those doing the actual piracy & taking the risks, e.g. those killed by the Koreans. You have to kill a huge number of them to make much impact on piracy, as Robsta says.

The lawyers, accountants, PR men, negotiators, informants, etc. employed by the warlords who run a lot of (most?) Somali piracy are probably much more susceptible to pressure, & harder to replace. But they keep away from where they might get shot at, as do their employers.

It will end either when Somalia becomes stable & secure enough to stop it at source (don't hold your breath), or when it becomes unprofitable or too risky for those in charge.
We're pretty much saying the same thing....which is why, in a much earlier post, I suggested on-shore interdiction of supply and "booty" transfer routes.
A year or so ago, I believe it was the French who successfully identified inland routes from shoreline points of transfer amd the vehicles using them.
The result was an airborne visit by attack choppers and the consequent spreading of the wealth over a considerable area of countryside.

This may still be going on for all I know. As for Somalia becoming stable....... I fear this will not involve a by-the-rules process.
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Old January 24th, 2011   #39
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The better bet would be a concerted effort to provide legal, on-board defence for merchant vessels in high risk areas; set up Q-ship patrols, and become extraordinarily "robust" (as they say) in the matter of armed naval patrols by participating nations.
1. -- The high risk area now extends from the Persian Gulf south past Madagascar, and from the African coast east to Ceylon. There are not enough naval vessels in the world to mount ‘robust’ naval patrols for an area that large.
2. – The pirates are taking less than 1% of the total traffic. They also appear to have an effective network of spies / informers. Q-ships cannot be effective in these circumstances.
3. – The press only covers the big international freighters. Most of the vessels taken by the pirates are small merchants plying their trade between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. They have also taken a number of small private yachts (2 to 6 man crews). Armed guards are not available or practical for these vessels.
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Captured pirates should be held for trial at the Hague and the question of execution should be a matter for government and public debate as this thing develops. Oh, yes. Pre- and post-facto assistance to the pirates along with the financing of their activities should carry the same punishable weight as the more egregious pirate acts themselves.
Won’t happen. Firstly because, thanks to the UN, piracy is no longer recognized as a crime, so the pirates will have to be charge with battery, kidnapping, or theft. They will get a couple years at most for that. Secondly, because of the language in the EU Constitution and several Human Rights Treaties, the pirates, and any witnesses called on their behalf from Somalia, will automatically qualify as economic and political refugees, fully eligible for all the benefits available, including the legal benefits that make them almost impossible to expel or stop them from bringing in additional family members. Note, these are the EU Constitution and inter-European treaties, not a country’s laws that can be simply overridden by the legislature.

Also, because trials must take place under the laws of a host country, the trials can only take place if the vessel is ‘flagged’ by the same nation as that holding the trials.

That is why the NATO countries have never brought pirates back for trial. For a Somali pirate the prospect of spending 3 to 10 years in a European prison in return for his extended family being allowed to move there and go on the dole is a reward, not a punishment. I am using NATO here rather than the EU here because France, as usual, is doing things their own way and getting away with it.
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Old January 24th, 2011   #40
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1. -- The high risk area now extends from the Persian Gulf south past Madagascar, and from the African coast east to Ceylon. There are not enough naval vessels in the world to mount ‘robust’ naval patrols for an area that large.
2. – The pirates are taking less than 1% of the total traffic. They also appear to have an effective network of spies / informers. Q-ships cannot be effective in these circumstances.
3. – The press only covers the big international freighters. Most of the vessels taken by the pirates are small merchants plying their trade between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. They have also taken a number of small private yachts (2 to 6 man crews). Armed guards are not available or practical for these vessels.

Won’t happen. Firstly because, thanks to the UN, piracy is no longer recognized as a crime, so the pirates will have to be charge with battery, kidnapping, or theft. They will get a couple years at most for that. Secondly, because of the language in the EU Constitution and several Human Rights Treaties, the pirates, and any witnesses called on their behalf from Somalia, will automatically qualify as economic and political refugees, fully eligible for all the benefits available, including the legal benefits that make them almost impossible to expel or stop them from bringing in additional family members. Note, these are the EU Constitution and inter-European treaties, not a country’s laws that can be simply overridden by the legislature.

Also, because trials must take place under the laws of a host country, the trials can only take place if the vessel is ‘flagged’ by the same nation as that holding the trials.

That is why the NATO countries have never brought pirates back for trial. For a Somali pirate the prospect of spending 3 to 10 years in a European prison in return for his extended family being allowed to move there and go on the dole is a reward, not a punishment. I am using NATO here rather than the EU here because France, as usual, is doing things their own way and getting away with it.
I get your point(s), my2cents. Perhaps I should have preceded my remarks by saying, "In an ideal world...."

Of course, I appreciate that there aren't enough naval vessels available anywhere to perform a clean sweep through robust anti-piracy efforts. However, those which are available, and which are tasked for anti-piracy, should operate under the standard of "official encouragement" toward the near-immediate use of the proverbial shot and shell. Skiffs and mother ships taken in the act should be sunk (unless the mother ship is a previously piratically seized vessel).

And your contention that piracy is no longer classified as a crime has encouraged me to consider possible new ventures in the field of commerce (as it were). And I have a bit of a problem with the thought that pirates are taking less than one percent of the merchant and pleasure traffic as a possible argument for taking things easy. In fact, it opens up some remarkable possibilities (in areas such as on-shore robberies, murder, etc.).

At any rate, while thanking you for your informed comments, I think I'll stand by my belief that on-shore interdiction of materiel and money supply routes and systems could be a useful exercise to pursue.

Have a lovely.....

Last edited by John Sansom; January 24th, 2011 at 01:52 PM. Reason: punctuation, spelling
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Old January 25th, 2011   #41
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"Won’t happen. Firstly because, thanks to the UN, piracy is no longer recognized as a crime, so the pirates will have to be charge with battery, kidnapping, or theft. They will get a couple years at most for that. Secondly, because of the language in the EU Constitution and several Human Rights Treaties, the pirates, and any witnesses called on their behalf from Somalia, will automatically qualify as economic and political refugees, fully eligible for all the benefits available, including the legal benefits that make them almost impossible to expel or stop them from bringing in additional family members. Note, these are the EU Constitution and inter-European treaties, not a country’s laws that can be simply overridden by the legislature.
Also, because trials must take place under the laws of a host country, the trials can only take place if the vessel is ‘flagged’ by the same nation as that holding the trials."

Here's link to the UNs articles on the freedom of the seas:-
PREAMBLE TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
According to the article 105 reproduced below, it's the State's laws of the seizing [anti-pirate] vessel which apply, not the UN.
Articles 99 to 111 are of particular interest determining piracy and what may be done about it.
"Article105
Seizure of a pirate ship or aircraft
On the high seas, or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State, every State may seize a pirate ship or aircraft, or a ship or aircraft taken by piracy and under the control of pirates, and arrest the persons and seize the property on board. The courts of the State which carried out the seizure may decide upon the penalties to be imposed, and may also determine the action to be taken with regard to the ships, aircraft or property, subject to the rights of third parties acting in good faith."

As there are references within the Articles to those being "guilty" of piracy, I fail to see where the UN has declared piracy a non-crime and would appreciate it if you could point me to a UN text that clarifies the points you've made.
Cheers,
Mac

Last edited by JoeMcFriday; January 25th, 2011 at 07:35 AM. Reason: setout
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Old January 25th, 2011   #42
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Article100
Duty to cooperate in the repression of piracy
All States shall cooperate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State.
High seas – i.e. outside the 200 mile limit, only. Inside the limit piracy must be defined and enforced by country with jurisdiction. Enforcement can also be permitted by those with formal agreements with the country of jurisdiction to that effect, but as this involves yielding some sovereignty most 3rd world countries are unwilling to do so.
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Article101
Definition of piracy
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 of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).
Again, the UNLOS does not apply inside the 200 mile limit, unlike the Admiralty Laws that it supersedes. Inside the 200 mile limit it is only piracy if the state with jurisdiction deems it so.
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Article104
Retention or loss of the nationality of a pirate ship or aircraft
A ship or aircraft may retain its nationality although it has become a pirate ship or aircraft. The retention or loss of nationality is determined by the law of the State from which such nationality was derived.
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Article105
Seizure of a pirate ship or aircraft
On the high seas, or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State, every State may seize a pirate ship or aircraft, or a ship or aircraft taken by piracy and under the control of pirates, and arrest the persons and seize the property on board. The courts of the State which carried out the seizure may decide upon the penalties to be imposed, and may also determine the action to be taken with regard to the ships, aircraft or property, subject to the rights of third parties acting in good faith.
Courts of a state are restricted to handle only cases originating within the state, or involving citizens of the state as victims or perpetrators. This means that the courts in Country A have no jurisdiction in a piracy case unless it taking place in Country A’s territorial waters, or involves the attempted piracy of a vessel operating under Country A’s flag, or injury to a citizen of Country A, or piracy by a citizen of Country A. As such courts of a State in Country A has no jurisdiction to try a cases against pirates from Country B but detained by a warship of Country A caught committing an act of piracy against a ship flagged and crewed by Country C. So Country A’s warship has no choice except for ‘catch-and-release’.

Attempts to go beyond this are classified as ‘Universal Jurisdiction’, and attempts to create law implementing them at the country level were immediately abused by litigators so badly that all have been re-restricted to the above standard. International Courts (ICC, ICT, and tribunals) are also highly restricted as to the cases and locations they can accept. Currently, none of them can accept piracy cases, nor does is seem likely. There is also the problem with the refuge laws in the states where the courts are located.
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Article106
Liability for seizure without adequate grounds
Where the seizure of a ship or aircraft on suspicion of piracy has been effected without adequate grounds, the State making the seizure shall be liable to the State the nationality of which is possessed by the ship or aircraft for any loss or damage caused by the seizure.
This has been interpreted by the lawyers as you can only stop a ship and inspect it for piracy equipment if you have seen it engaging in an attempted act of piracy. Needless to say, this has hamstrung attempts to suppress piracy.

So there are a few of the problems with UNLOS. It is the product of bureaucrats more concerned with creating/maintaining national sovereignty and the rights of minorities (the pirates), than creating practical and enforceable international law.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #43
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I can certainly agree with you that the work of bureaucrats considerably complicates anything, especially those who interpret the written word. This is why I asked could you refer to a UN document/s which indicate their interpretation which would support your explanation.
I can't as yet find one and have e-mailed a contact at the UN for assistance, as she's not connected with UNCLOS this may take some time.

You make many strong points but they are based on the 200m limit denying international law. In the absence of further UN documentation, I respectfully contend the opposite.

Insofar as the 200m limit is concerned, there are multiple references in UNCLOS to international passages [trade routes] being regarded as "the high seas", even though such routes lie within any EEZ or confined straits.
eg. [partic. sect. 2, which largely refers to piracy as we know]

"Article 58
Rights and duties of other States in the exclusive economic zone
1. In the exclusive economic zone, all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy, subject to the relevant provisions of this Convention, the freedoms referred to in article 87 of navigation and overflight and of the laying of submarine cables and pipelines, and other internationally lawful uses of the sea related to these freedoms, such as those associated with the operation of ships, aircraft and submarine cables and pipelines, and compatible with the other provisions of this Convention.

2. Articles 88 to 115 and other pertinent rules of international law
apply to the exclusive economic zone in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part.

3. In exercising their rights and performing their duties under this Convention in the exclusive economic zone, States shall have due regard to the rights and duties of the coastal State and shall comply with the laws and regulations adopted by the coastal State in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and other rules of international law in so far as they are not incompatible with this Part."

It is quite clear from this article that an EEZ doesn't preclude "high seas" provisions, there are other articles providing for search by warships etc.

I take your point that the searcher may be liable for costs incurred by the searched [delayed] vessel. How many Somali "fishermen" are going to the Hague to press a law suit over a 30 minute delay in their "fishing". Maybe even to be recompensed for AKs and RPGs they threw overboard?

Back to article 58, as you infer, UN interpretation which would of course affect the ROE is critical and it is this UN interpretation I would like to see.

Does it in anyway affect the [UNs] status of the pirates attacking vessels outside said zone, such as near Sri Lanka or Madagascar?
Cheers,
Mac

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Old January 26th, 2011   #44
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wether in international waters or not if a pirate ship is sighted or reported immidiate action should take place for any available military force nearby and conduct an attack. Just as the South Korean commandos did and other rescue teams done in the past, the civilized nations should not tolerate this piracy in high seas. They should be met with force until them pirates no longer find it feasible in terms of their safety to engage in this kind of business. Besides its no excuse for a poor man to join pirates, what the somali people need to do is organize a political group or party and put up a legitimate government and ask for help from UN to put up their own small Navy and coast guard and they can start being a productive nation and feed their poor people other than that. a pirate is a pirate and he chose to be this way and so he will have to pay the consequences. The hell with the bureaucrats, there is a need for more actions. Imagine yourself if you are one of the sailors being held hostage.
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Old January 26th, 2011   #45
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piracy

hello forum,i am myself a private contractor engaged by a shipping company that operates in the indian ocean,the somali pirates are extremely savvy and well equipped (navigation,intel etc) also have much improved vessels & range,problem is very severe... i think only the private sector can tackle the problem effectively .
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