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Friday, May 18, 2012

Somali Pirates: Sore on the Shore

Reported inside Al Arabiya's article, "Somali fishermen beg to anti-piracy airstrikes" is an angry demand by some pirate spokesman that, well, the attacks stop or "else."

The "else" is not reported.

Further, some Somali fishermen want to see an invasion force to take out the pirates.
But fishermen on the impoverished coast said that their boats had also been destroyed, and that they feared being caught up in further attacks aimed to damage pirate operations.

“The pirates cannot be easily identified, as they mingle with the fishermen -- the boats are the same and the people look alike unless they are armed,” said Mohamed Hassan, a local fisherman in the Harardhere region.

“The fishermen are also victims -- some of the boats destroyed by the international forces belonged to local fishermen, and we are very much worried that fishermen will die in such operations,” he added.
However, fisherman Kahin Abdurahman said that forces should instead send ground troops capable of distinguishing between pirates and civilians.

“The international forces should stop flying helicopters and firing missiles from the sky,” Abdurahman said.

“If they need to, then their operation must distinguish between local fishermen and pirates, so they must deploy foot soldiers on the ground.”
The EU naval force said no Somalis were injured in Tuesday’s strike, and that the attacks were focused on “known pirate supplies” -- prompting a furious response from pirates.

“If they continue attacking Somali coastal villages, then there will be terrible consequences,” said Abdi Yare, a pirate chief in the notorious pirate base of Hobyo, on the central Somali coast.

“The so-called anti-piracy forces are now engaging in a very dangerous part of their mission.” (emphasis added)
Typical Somali fishing/pirating craft
If I were a Somali fisherman, I don't think I'd be holding my breath waiting for the "foot soldiers" to arrive.

I would, on the other hand, move my boat to an area away from the pirates.

Or paint a big red "X" on each of the pirate boats for easier targeting from the air.

Just saying.

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