Official: Dialogue, not military might, solution to Somali piracy

Piracy in Somalia cannot be defeated by military means alone, and dialogue with pirates is needed to address the root causes of the problem, a Kenyan maritime official said Wednesday as an international conference on piracy got under way, reported dpa.

"Piracy can't be solved by a military solution," Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan branch of the East African Seafarers' Association, told journalists in Nairobi. "We need to go back to the origin. Don't call them criminals ... let's have dialogue, sit down and talk."

Representatives of the UN and foreign governments are attending a two-day conference aimed at combating a huge jump in piracy this year, but Mwangura said without the involvement of local communities in Somalia the efforts were doomed to failure.

"If you are not going to invite the local community, it is not going to work," he said. "We need to come up with a regional piracy information centre, security in Somalia and a regional action plan on illegal fishing and toxic dumping."

Fishermen began targeting ships in the early 90s, saying they were defending their coastline from illegal fishing and boats dumping toxic waste in Somali waters.

Mwangura said that companies were still dumping industrial waste off the coast of Somali, although he could not give concrete figures on the scale of the problem.

However, he said that illegal fishing was worth 96 million dollars a year - money that could go into the hands of poor Somali communities to cut the motivation for piracy.

The increase in piracy has coincided with a degeneration of the security situation in Somalia, where the Transitional Federal Government is crumbling under a fierce Islamist insurgency.

UN Special Representative for Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah said the two issues were closely linked and that the conference should address this issue.

"It is clear that the problem of piracy is linked to the need for peace and stability in Somalia itself," he said. "We hope that this high-level conference will lead to greater international attention and cooperation between countries, regional and international organizations."

Piracy in Somalia has morphed into a multimillion-dollar industry, with gunmen commanding huge ransoms for the ships they seize.

Many of the pirates are young men looking to make a quick buck, but Mwangura said the real pirates were criminals who mastermind operations from locations such as Nairobi and Dubai.

Roughly 40 ships have been successfully hijacked this year, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Around 15 ships and 300 crew members are in the hands of pirates, including a Saudi supertanker carrying crude oil worth 100 million dollars and a Ukrainian ship carrying a cargo of 33 tanks and other military equipment.

The surge in piracy has prompted increased patrols along the Somali coast by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Russia, the US-led coalition forces, India and France.

The EU on Tuesday also formally launched operation "Atalanta," a year-long mission relying on up to six warships and two or three maritime patrol aircraft at any one time.

However, Mwangura said he believed the pirates were able to avoid navy patrols and target ships that could deliver juicy ransoms by using automatic identification system (AIS) technology, a system used by ships and vessel traffic services to track and identify ships.

"We think they are using AIS to monitor ships ... they can find out if the owner is rich or poor, find out what the ship is carrying and the nationality of the crew," he said. "They don't go out blindly."

With dozens of warships now patrolling the relatively narrow Gulf of Aden, pirates are taking their motherships, from which they launch attacks in speedboats, further out to sea.

While Mwangura said this means pirates now can seize fewer ships, he said that naval patrols were never going to solve the problem completely.

"The warships are doing something, but it is only a short-term solution," he said.

President Ilham Aliyev receives EU Special Representative (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev receives EU Special Representative (PHOTO)
Сoordinated fake news attacks on Azerbaijan debunked (PHOTO)
Сoordinated fake news attacks on Azerbaijan debunked (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Ambassador presents his credentials to President of Mexico
Azerbaijani Ambassador presents his credentials to President of Mexico
Loading Bars
US’ share in Azerbaijan's total imports grows
FAO provides strategic support for Uzbek Agriculture Ministry
Conference of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan was held at the high organizational level
Italian geopolitical analyst: Mechanism needed for implementation of UNSC resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Turkmenistan to expand areas for growing crops
Azerbaijani oil prices down
Georgia, Azerbaijan united by energy and transport projects of international importance
President Ilham Aliyev receives EU Special Representative (PHOTO)
Chairman Israel Empowerment Lobby: Azerbaijan tolerates all religions
Electronic Water Portal launched in Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Agro Service: Azerbaijan has no shortage in fertilizers
Сoordinated fake news attacks on Azerbaijan debunked (PHOTO)
Georgia takes part in high-level Open Government Summit together with world leaders
Belarus raises goods export to Azerbaijan
Georgia hosts Cyber ​​Security Forum
Demand for Turkish clothing in Georgian market declines
Turkmenistan working to improve transport macrostructure
Azerbaijani Ambassador presents his credentials to President of Mexico
Georgia to start producing anti-hail nets for orchards
German export expectations hit highest level since October 2018
President Ilham Aliyev: Non-fulfillment of Security Council resolutions undermines prestige of UN
Irish foreign minster says EU-UK trade deal breakthrough possible
Overhaul of Azerbaijani 'President Heydar Aliyev' tanker completed
Azerbaijani president: Aim pursued by Armenia to maintain current status-quo of occupation, to annex occupied territories
Azerbaijani president: We have credible information about presence of Armenian ASALA terror organization on occupied territories
President Ilham Aliyev: Illegal presence of Armenian armed forces in occupied lands of Azerbaijan remains major threat to regional peace, security
Import of Turkish-made chemicals by Turkmenistan declines
Vaccine against COVID-19 could give boost to oil prices
Turkmenistan to provide additional benefits to healthcare workers
Moscow authorities recommend people over 65 stay home due to increased COVID-19 incidence
UAE, Israeli cyber chiefs discuss joining forces to combat common threats
Singapore August manufacturing surges 13.7% year-on-year, beats forecasts
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 61 times
Azerbaijani currency rates for Sept. 25
Pakistani expert: Armenia - country where Islamophobia perceived as state policy
Turkmenistan to increase volume of credit funds for dev’t of industrial sectors
IAI buys 50% of tactical drone co BlueBird
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for September 25
Ankara-Baku-Ankara flights to be resumed soon
Kazakhstan's electric power distributing company to buy welding equipment via tender
Oil gains but heading for weekly fall over coronavirus demand concerns
Iran's drug distribution companies stored flu vaccine
Azerbaijani president: We present to the world the example of tolerance and coexistence
Georgian PM addresses participants of high-level Open Government Summit together with world leaders
Zarif urges multilateralism in fight against COVID-19
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan plan to implement new projects in transport sector
Virus cases falling in Australia's hotspot state, restrictions may ease further
Chinese mainland reports 8 new imported COVID-19 cases
2 pilots killed in military helicopter crash in N. Afghanistan
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 140,000
President Ilham Aliyev: Our citizens' life and health is priority for us, despite the economic difficulties caused by pandemic
President Ilham Aliyev: Because of aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia continues to face deep demographic, social and economic crisis
Azerbaijani President: We urge all countries to refrain from supplying arms to Armenia
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity has never been and will never be a subject of negotiations
President Ilham Aliyev: Negotiations must not be conducted just for the sake of negotiations, they must be target-oriented and meaningful
Azerbaijani President: International sanctions must be imposed on Armenia as an aggressor state
President Ilham Aliyev: To achieve sustainable international peace and security, there must be put an end to occupation
Global coronavirus cases pass 32 mln
President Ilham Aliyev makes speech at general debates of 75th session of UNGA in video format (PHOTO)
16 injured after tanker explosion in Nigeria's economic hub
Kazakhstan's export to China surge despite COVID-19
Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Turkey discuss topical co-op issues in call
President of Georgia receives Azerbaijani Foreign Minister (PHOTO)
Iran reveals share of free, special economic zones in country's export
Georgia's export of vegetables down year-on-year
Magnitude 4.2 earthquake shakes Istanbul
Azerbaijan’s Agroleasing opens tender to buy services
Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister takes part in meeting of foreign ministers of landlocked countries
Deputy Minister: Iran's petrochemical production potential spikes
Lavrov: Russia hopes for some new measures to preserve JCPOA
Demand for Azerbaijani AzerGold company’s bonds exceeds supply
Azerbaijan, Georgia interested in peaceful settlement of conflicts in region
Net profits of Georgian commercial banks increase
Azerbaijani FM meets with deputy chairman of Georgian parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Air Forces conduct combat-training flights (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Timeframe for iron ore exploration in Azerbaijan's Dashkasan revealed
Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance to place state short-term bonds
Georgian Kula company doubles production of dried fruits
Georgia's exports of fruits, nuts soar
Georgia reveals volume of fertilizers exported to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani minister: Dashkesan iron ore deposit promises great prospects
Azerbaijan plans to export agricultural products to Arab countries soon
Asian Development Bank discloses amount of funds allocated to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan continues importing more grain, legumes from Turkey
Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee to launch new services for foreign trade participants
Uzbekistan expanding geography of natural uranium exports
Number of migrant workers from Turkey in Georgia edges up
Kazakh political analyst: Azerbaijan - plays important role in Turkic-speaking world
Russia reports over 6,500 new coronavirus cases
Azerbaijan increases import of cars from Georgia
Kazakh import of steel from Turkey down amid COVID-19 global pandemic
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee presents new e-commerce project
Iran provides funding for industrial, mineral projects
Georgia sees increase in export of blueberries
Georgia reveals volume of hazelnuts exported to Azerbaijan
Fitch forecasts moderate dividends from Kazakhstan's KazMunayGas' equity affiliates
Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit to buy electrical equipment via tender
Diesel imports increases in Georgia
Financing for Uzbek solar power plant construction approved
Azerbaijan's MFA comments on provocative activities of Pashinyan
All news