The Somali Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA) delighted to distribute again and support as well as comment the tremendous speech made by the president of the federal republic government of Somalia H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud who participates ON BAHAR DAR FORUM FOR SECURITY AND ORGANIZED CRIMES scheduled to take place from 20 – 21 APRIL 2013 in Ethiopia due to the 2nd TANA High level forum on security in Africa.
“Today, Africa needs strong commitment from its leaders and people to stand together to combat any sort of illegal activities, including the drugs and human trafficking, illegal arms trade, illegal fishing and maritime piracy, toxic waste dumping, money laundering and any other organized crime in Africa’.”I use the word stand together because, current organized crimes are Africanized; Therefore, the effort to combat it MUST also be Africanized. I believe that our concerted efforts mitigated with a strong legal framework; and enforced laws will generate a better image for Africa”.said the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud
“Let me remind you, that the threats of transnational organized criminal activities in Somalia are not limited to piracy and terrorism. It extends illegal fishing, toxic waste dumping and a huge destruction of our forest charcoal production and export. These activities will not only be illegal but causing for Somalia huge environmental problems that pauses serious danger for generations to come. These crimes have to stop. This must not be seen as a Somali problem. It is both African and global and must be faced in that way’ “We know that the costs imposed by Somali piracy on the global economy are so high and that international mobilization to eradicate piracy is ongoing effort. However, these efforts cannot be sustained without stable Somalia.”Parallel to that, my Government has launched a huge campaign to eradicate the piracy through mediation and dialogue with the community leaders and the local stakeholders. The fruits of this campaign have led to the voluntary denunciation of so many young Somalis to these illegal activities. The Government is planning to present to the international community a plan for reengaging the young former pirates by establishing a vocational training centers and reeducating to abide by the national and international laws”.The president added
The Significant Developments from the International Community to dealwith Piracy issues over Somalia territorial water.
- On January 25, the EU Naval Force vessel FS SURCOUF transferred 12 suspected pirates to authorities in Mauritius for prosecution. The French naval frigate captured the suspected pirates after an attack on a merchant vessel off Somalia’s coast earlier that month.
- On February 25, the EU Naval Force frigate HNLMS DE RUYTER transferred nine suspected pirates to authorities in the Republic of Seychelles. The suspects were captured aboard two skiffs after an alarm report from a merchant vessel on February 19.
- On February 27, a federal jury in Norfolk, Virginia convicted five Somali men of piracy for the 2010 attack on the USS ASHLAND. A piracy conviction in the United States carries a mandatory life sentence.
- Trials have been proceeding in the region for 16 suspected pirates detained in April 2012 by the Danish naval vessel ABSALON, operating as part of NATO’s Operation OCEAN SHIELD. A court in Seychelles sentenced three of the pirates to prison terms of 24 years and a fourth to 16 years. Denmark collaborated with Pakistan to secure Pakistani fishermen held hostage by the pirates to serve as witnesses in court. The next step will be to transfer the convicted pirates to serve their sentences in their home country, Somalia.
- In March, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organised the latest transfer of piracy prisoners from Seychelles to Somalia. 25 pirates were sent to Bosasso from Montagne Posse prison in the Seychelles in three charter flights. Thirteen of the prisoners had been apprehended by the U.S. Navy and 12 by European Naval Force. Previously 34 pirates had been transferred to Somalia, 29 to Hargeisa in Somaliland and five to Bosasso in Puntland.
- On February 6, the Contact Group’s Working Group 3 (Strengthening Shipping Self-Awareness and Other Capabilities) held its seventh session, hosted by Working Group chair the Republic of Korea in Seoul. Representatives from more than 45 countries and organizations discussed: shipping industry-developed Best Management Practices to protect merchant ships transiting high-risk waters; the welfare of seafarers victimized by pirates; potential updates to the region’s designated High-Risk Area, and related issues.
- The Contact Group’s Working Group 4 (Public Information) and 1 (Military and Operational Coordination, Information Sharing, and Capacity Building) met March 18-21, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Somali government officials participated for the first time in Working Group 4 meetings, and committed to harmonizing official counter piracy messaging with that of the international community. Working Group 1 reviewed the significant progress being made to enhance effective coordination of international activity to develop regional maritime security, judicial and penal capabilities, and exchanged views with leaders of the multinational naval forces operating in the High-Risk Area on the effectiveness of preventative efforts at sea, and the recent deliberations of the Shared Awareness and De-Confliction Mechanism (known as SHADE).
- Representatives of the Somali Contact Group on Counter Piracy (The Kampala Process), consisting of the Federal Government of Somalia, Puntland, Galmudug, and Somaliland, met in Addis Ababa on March 11-17. These meetings, facilitated by UNPOS, UNODC, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the NGO Oceans Beyond Piracy, resulted in substantial progress towards developing a single draft Somali Maritime Strategy.
- Working Groups 2 and 5 will meet in Copenhagen on April 10-12.
- In December 2012 and January 2013, the Hostage Release Programme administered by the UN Political Office on Somalia (UNPOS) supported the repatriation of 21 hostages from the M/V ICEBERG and the remaining six hostages from the M/V ORNHA. This programme, which is funded by the UN Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (UN Trust Fund), tracks, monitors and then assists States and shipping companies to recover former hostages abandoned inside Somalia after their release by pirates.
- The Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecution & Intelligence Coordination Centre (RAPPICC) in the Seychelles officially opened on February 25. The RAPPICC will coordinate counter-piracy intelligence and information in order to better target the kingpins and financiers of Somali piracy.
- Ambassador Thomas Winkler of Denmark, Chairman of the Contact Group’s Working Group 2 (Judicial Issues), accompanied UNODC officials on a visit to Puntland, including to the prison in Bosasso, which has been rebuilt in large part with funding provided by the Trust Fund. During the visit, Puntland authorities and UNODC agreed on the establishment of a national monitoring group for transferred pirate prisoners, which UNODC will supplement with an international monitoring group. In Somaliland, UNODC opened a housing complex at Hargeisa prison as part of a continuing process to upgrade penal facilities throughout the region. UNODC Counter Piracy Programme prison advisors visited the five Kenyan prisons where 130 convicted pirates are currently serving sentences of up to 20 years.
- In March, $1.95 million was disbursed to the UN Development Program and UNODC to implement projects approved by the UN Trust Fund, which is managed by the UN Department of Political Affairs. The projects will develop police capacity to combat piracy in Puntland, Somalia; facilitate effective prosecution of individuals suspected of piracy; provide support to prisoner transfer flights from Seychelles to Somalia; and support the creation of a maritime law enforcement strategy and legal framework in Somalia.
- Working Group 3 hosted an ad hoc meeting in London on January 15 on the High Risk Area (HRA) in London, where participants deliberated on the scope of the HRA as defined in the fourth iteration of the Best Management Practices guidelines. Another issue discussed was the idea of a transit corridor off the coast of India. The meeting provided a forum for a focused and in-depth deliberation of the HRA issue among all parties concerned.
Piracy Statistics for January 1-April 1, 2013
- 4 attempted hijackings; no successful hijackings
- Hostage seafarers in pirate custody
- 16 on M/V ALBEDO (Malaysia), hijacked November 25, 2010
- 67 on six fishing vessels, including M/V NAHAM (Oman), hijacked March 26, 2012
- 17 held on land from M/V ASHPAHLT VENTURE, LEOPARD, and PRATALAY 4
The Fourteenth Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia will meet in New York City in the UN headquarters on May 1, 2013, chaired. The United States will chair this meeting, SOMESHA is suggesting the group to underline and endorse the president’s plan of action in order to reengage the young former and current pirates by establishing a vocational training centers and reeducating to abide by the national and international laws.