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Piracy Off Coast of Somalia - Essay Example

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Name Order 676163 26 April 2012 Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia History, Cost, United States Policy, Other Alternatives Introduction: “The country of Somalia became independent and unified in 1960.” (Ould-Abdallah, 2008). Nine years later the Somali President was assassinated and the army Major General Siad Barre took control…
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Download file to see previous pages The Northwestern region of Somalia declared themselves independent in 1991 and in 1998 the Northeastern region established the Puntland State of Somalia. (Ould-Abdallah, 2008). In 2002 local leaders in Baidoa also established a Southwestern State of Somalia. Background shows that before 1990 piracy was not a serious problem on the coast of Somalia. There were a few small incidents with fishing boats, leisure craft and ships, but nothing serious. However, in the 1990s a more organized form of piracy was seen in armed groups attacking vessels claiming to be Coast Guards protecting territorial waters of Somalia. This form of piracy expanded in 2000 to any seafaring vessels that came within or even close to Somalia’s territorial waters. The pirates boarded the vessels and held both ship and sailors hostage for ransom. (Ould-Abdallah, 2008). Interestingly, the pirates are not concerned with cargo or reuse of the ship; they are only concerned with obtaining the ransom. The ships are sailed to one of the bases where the pirates can obtain supplies while demands are being communicated. Since the pirates are armed, it is very difficult to attempt a rescue. The process is very open and they feel very secure that the ransom will be paid to bring the hostage situation to a safe conclusion. (Ould-Abdullah, 2008). The following research information deals with what is going on now, why we are involved, the costs, United States policies, and possible alternatives. Why Piracy in Somalia: Somalia is ravaged with social upheavals, human hardship and environmental challenges. Piracy has become a way to make quick money that is more appealing than any other means of income. There is some risk involved, but the benefits have shown to outweigh the risks. There have been few arrests and fewer injuries suffered by the pirates. (Ould-Abdullah, 2008). The country suffers from poverty, unemployment, environmental drawbacks, and low incomes. There have been lost resources due to drought and illegal fishing as well as security and political issues that allow piracy to continue in Somalia. Until someone comes up with a better solution for income generation and the pirates are dealt with more severely, it will continue. It is important to note that the pirates firmly believe they have every right to attack illegal vessels that are in their territorial waters. They feel that their fishing resources are being stolen daily by vessels from Europe and Asia. This has been going on for years; however, nothing has been done about it internationally. Therefore, the Somalia pirates believe their actions are warranted to control the injustice. (Ould-Abdullah, 2008). “Some pirates have claimed they act as a de facto coast guard, protecting Somalia from illegal fishing and dumping of toxic wastes.” (Minter; Volman, 2009). However, most will admit that they do it for the financial gain, even though some used to be fishermen. In the article by William Minter and Daniel Volman in June 2009 they contend that piracy alone will not likely provoke U.S. intervention even if U.S. citizens are captured. Most of the captured hostages have been from the Philippines and other developing countries. The shipping companies see the ransom as minor expenses compared to the economic situation worldwide. (Minter; Volman, 2009). In an article by Mark Doyle in 2006 he states that the problem is generally off the long eastern coastline of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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