Somali Ghost strikes again
The piracy problem along the Somali coast is attracting a lot of media
attention here in the Gulf region and elsewhere. Those who follow or monitor
the slow suicidal process of the Somali people know that this is not a
new phenomena, but just another manifestation of the warlords' desperate
attempt to regionalize or globalize the Somali problem.
Somalia was on the nose for a long time, no one cares about what happens
in Somalia let alone wants to help or solve its self-made problems. The
fact of the matter is, Somalia is a country destroyed by its own help
with the supervision of its own leaders, whether they are warlords, religious
leaders or self-elected or tribe-elected so called Transitional federal
To understand what lead Somalia to its current quagmire one must seriously
study the Somali character, its makeup, its tribal and regional alliances,
its religious believes or lack of it, etc. It quickly becomes apparent
that there are no existing tools to examine the Somali psyche. One needs
to develop a new mechanism, methodology to analyse, evaluate and understand
Somalia and Somalis. This is a task for the future '-ologists' to sort
This short note explores the ramification of three recent articles that
appeared in the 'Khaleej Times', a UAE daily newspaper.
The Newspaper published a shallow investigative piece that in a way damages
the credibility of Dubai financial and security systems. It also tarnished
the image of Dubai as a clean crime-free and business oriented city more
than highlighting what is already well known problem in Somalia and elsewhere.
The articles described the hijacking of The San Carlo, which is Greek
owned but carries a Maltese flag, late October, 2005, the hijacking of
the UAE-operated oil tanker Lin 1, by Somali pirates on March 29 2006
and another ship with some Indonesian crew.
This is a fast developing story and it has all the elements of front-page
sensational journalism. However, this is just the tip of the ice-berg,
if one looks at what is happening in Somalia. To understand the source
of the problem, a short history lesson is necessary.
community lost interest in Somalia since some thugs financed by
warlords, some of them still running their criminal enterprises
chased the UN and the US out of Mogadishu in 1993.
grow fatter and more powerful by the day, incidentally with the
support of external power, i.e. Ethiopia, corrupted UN staff and
fishing was rampant along the Somali coast since the collapse of
the Somali government.
No government or international
organization was interested in this daylight robbery of a country's natural
resources. The warlords and their thugs were part of this organized crime.
However, like any other criminals, the warlords want more and targeting
bigger ships and oil tankers is naturally the next logical step towards
becoming super criminal with global reach.
These warlords are smart and they successfully metamorphosed themselves
aligning themselves to any agents who will support their interest. The
latest card in their hand is 'the war on terrorism'.
What is new
and disturbing development in this story is the fact that pirates
method of attack are becoming more sophisticated and it has the
hallmark of professional and in the last cases, the involvement
of foreign criminals. The Somali pirates might be used by professional
hardcore criminals from Europe or Asia.
This is a worrying
development for the international community especially the business
people and the trader who use the Somali coastline.
So you have a very
cunning warlords, failed state, corrupted and incompetent transitional
federal government, a broken society that lost hope, vulture-neighboring
countries who are watching and waiting for the appropriate to take over,
misguided religious leaders and the only possible outcome so far expected
was the slow death, the implosion of Somalia.
Many believe that this (the implosion of Somalia) has happened more than
a decade ago and now the international community will have to put up with
the Somali ghost that will haunt it for many years to come.
The warlords manage the piracy, the printing of Somali passports and the
currency with or without the permission of the incompetent Transitional
Federal government and this will have a major impact on the whole region.
The Somalis who are not linked to the warlords were so far the only victims
of this madness, those who survived their bullets have no where to shelter
from the economic violence caused by the warlords capacity to print their
own currencies and manipulate the economy. Now it seems the rest of the
world seems to have smelt the gunpowder and the ever increasing sound
of explosions from the horn of Africa.
The longer the international community ignores Somalia, the more powerful
the warlords and their thugs will become and as a consequence the less
safer the region and the Somali coastline will become.
What is the solution? One way to deal with this ever increasing danger
along the Somali coastline and the Somali tragedy in general is to get
the Somali communities, especially the business people and the diaspora
around the world to become involved in rescuing Somali from the brink
of extinction. Perhaps the Somali intellectuals can organize an alternative
solution that will support the weak and incompetent transitional federal
To do nothing can't
be a solution. Drastic problems require drastic solutions, is it too embarrassing
to contemplate asking the UN to consider new form of trusteeship, or some
foreign entity to re-colonize us? .
Other views, solutions or suggestion are welcome. Let us start this forum
to at least try to search how can we help stop this madness that conquered
our beloved land .