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Somali Piracy Values - Versus Pathetic Philanthropy

25 January, 2011

The successful rescue of SAMHO JEWLERY by Republic of Korea forces along with the death of 8 pirates, brought with it jubilation in many quarters. The response from pirates, future seized Korean vessels will be blown up and Korean nationals on board executed in retribution. This is a measure of their justice that rather than acceptance of death among their numbers as a possible consequence of their illegal attacks against unarmed merchant vessels, they instead call for vengeance against unarmed innocents.

Malaysian forces had a somewhat easier task of retaking BUNGA LAUREL, only because, the 23-man crew successfully employed the Best Management Practice (BMP) of the citadel defence gambit. However, like their South Korean counterparts those tasked to take on the pirates did so at risk to their lives and limbs. Even given the superior firepower on their side, these were indeed, no mean feats

Five pirates survived the relief of SAMHO JEWELRY. The vessel’s master received a gunshot wound to his stomach. Luckily, it was not a life threatening one. However, did warrant his evacuation to undergo shore-side medical attention. So far, there has been no indication if the wound he sustained was from the fire of friend or foe.

Common Sense says that both groups have been caught red handed and surely they will face prosecution yet consideration is now needed to where this might take place. Lawmakers of the World please refer to UNCLOS and in particular, articles 100 to 107 and 110 relating to piracy. There simply is not the political will to prosecute as these two incidents demonstrate, only after capture is this being thought about. The obligations to this layman seem quite clearly stated to the extent that States who’s nationals have suffered can prosecute piracy perpetrators

For some of the news stories on the above incidents please visit:

newstraitstimesasiaonenews, and thestaronline and a short video of the SAMHO JEWELRY rescue mission is available Here

There is a meeting scheduled at the IMO on 3 February that will include the presence of not only the IMO SG but also the UN SG along with other stakeholders. This will hopefully kick start IMO’s theme for World Maritime Day (WMD) on 23 September this year – “Piracy: Orchestrating the Response.” Hopefully, however we will now see some rapid development before then. For an exclusive video of the handover of the inter industry stakeholders handover of their END PIRACY NOW PETITION, please click Here

There are a number of scenarios as to why the scourge of Somali piracy came into being and why it continues to perpetuate and expand. Society’s too soft underbelly of sociologists sees to it that we are presented with every lame duck excuse for the  tyrannical behavior of those who assault unarmed innocent and decent family men with deadly force. Very few seafarers have paid the ultimate price in the Somali based piracy theatre of operations that now to extend practically to the whole of the Indian Ocean. Perhaps this is as much by the grace of god as by good judgment.

The mother ship tactics employed by Somali based pirate groups could well further extend their evil deeds into the neighbouring Atlantic, see “Will West follow east.” There is no effective control of the unabated fury of the raging tempest within the Indian Ocean and adjoining seas. Meanwhile, those giving succor to it, the good leaders of the world sleep with peace not only in their beds, but also in the work they are paid along with prolific perquisites. They should not be too surprised waking up to the breaking news that vessels in the Pacific have fallen prey not only to its own regional piracy, but also to the international face of Somali based operations.

Jim Nicoll

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