Good Company

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Good Company

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Somalia: Piracy as wealth maker

From the Somali Press Review:
The collapse of any form of administration leads humans to resort to chaos and competition for available scarce resources ultimately spearheading survival of the fittest. The aftermath of Somalia's collapse in 1991 and the subsequent chaos that plunged the nation in to wide scale humanitarian disaster saw the proliferation of premeditated murders of foreigners especially employees of aid agencies and international correspondents.

Ironically, the most lavish business in Somalia today is not only kidnapping or killing of foreigners working in the country, but a new art of war known as 'piracy' where a cluster of pirates armed with rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and AK 47s transported by speed boats hold merchant ships in shallow and deep waters demanding ransom-a thriving business that brings in millions of dollars to the paymaster and the pirate in every encounter.

Applying commando-raid styles, pirates laden with explosives and brandishing Kalashnikovs, board any conceivable object in sea waters including schooners, yachts, luxury liners, petroleum tankers and cargo ships with lightning speed thus causing panic among crew who may have little or no readiness or experience tackling unexpected dangers. Sailors who attempt to resist pirate assaults are dealt with mercilessly by being shot at close range or thrown overboard.
The money skillfully generated from piracy has flooded Somali warlord coffers having tremendously altered the market economy of the Horn of Africa. With bride price paid in U.S. dollars, young women wedding pirates have a lot to display in their jewelry boxes. They get anything their eyes covet: gold bought in Dubai, diamond polished in Paris, Lapus Lazuli mined in the mountains of chaotic Afghanistan, brightly colored Saris tailored in India, shoes crafted in Italy, Japanese cars, mansions, electric generators, Arabian sofa, Syrian drapes, DVD and CD players, and assortment of goods in the world’s most beleaguered, impoverished, and war ravaged region.

Besides, not a penny of the pirate's hard currency goes to the dogs as many have embarked on novel business ventures. Qaad (pronounced cot), a chewable stimulating herb known to generate hefty income and cultivated in the highlands of the Arabian Peninsula, Kenya, and Ethiopia, is a new business undertaking pirates treasure most.
...Had the international community played its rightful role of bringing peace to Somalia, there would never have been piracy off Somali coasts. Furthermore, piracy never existed along this volatile coastline when Major General Mohamed Siyad Barre, Somalia’s deposed President, ruled this nation with iron fist from 1969 to 1991.
"Had the international community played its rightful role..."

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