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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Somali Pirates: Some Collected Reports

First, the saga of the Captain of a ship being held by pirates and the treatment of crews at pirate hands in this piece from Expressindia.comCaptain tied up in dark cabin for 21 days, engineer dipped in water till he fainted:
Waiting for death, Makane had begun to hallucinate when, he said, he drew inspiration from Papillon by Henri Charrière, a convicted felon who later crafted a legendary escape. “Papillon never lost hope. I had to keep the faith,” Makane, 53, says of the 21 days of “pure torture” at the hands of Somalian pirates.
Second. a report from Italy on a plan to put armed guards on Italian merchant ships from here:
Italy is to station military forces on its merchant vessels to guard against attacks by Somali pirates, shipping sources said on Tuesday, the day after another of its ships was attacked off the anarchic east African country.

Many ships already carry private security contractors to try to prevent hijacks, but deployment of military forces on merchant vessels would mark a clear escalation in measures to combat piracy, which costs the world economy billions of dollars each year.

The sources said Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa would sign an agreement later on Tuesday with the confederation of Italian ship owners to put military guards on board vessels in the huge area of the Indian Ocean at risk from Somali pirates, who have hijacked several Italian ships.
Third, a suggestion that the current ant-piracy strategies are not working and a proposed shore based solution from here:
The question is: Are we getting it right in the way we are trying to solve the problem? Am afraid, the answer is No. The approximate annual cost of the international naval flotilla is said to be $2 billion; six times bigger than the cost of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) since 2007. AMISOM seeks to restore the state of Somalia and subsequently a state of law and order. Without fear, pirates live on land and launch sea attacks from there. Why then shouldn’t we spend on land based measures, like supporting AMISOM than sea operations?

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