Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Center FZCO

http://dragonmart.org/english/about2.asp Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Center FZCO On April 1, 2000, China Middle East Investment and Trade Promotion Center¡¯s predecessor, China Electronics and Machinery Products Exhibition Center, established operations in Sharjah. While it is a cooperative project between the governments of China and the UAE, the completion of China Electronics and Machinery Products Exhibition Center led to the birth of China Middle East Investment and Trade Promotion Center, Chinamex. In 2002, then Vice-president of the State Council of China Wu Yi visited the Middle East and gave a prompt to China Electronics and Machinery Products Exhibition Center. Chinamex has been created under the Chinese Ministry of Commerce Overseas Management Center. Since 2000, Chinamex has already become an important aspect of promoting the implementation of ¡°Going Global¡± strategy for Chinese companies. It promotes Chinese products in trying to create an ¡°international brand¡± by promoting the diversification of Chinese export markets as an important overseas window. Additionally, Chinamex has already created China¡¯s largest overseas trade platform. It provides high-level services for Chinese and foreign companies in the specialized areas of international exhibitions, commodities trade, Chinese company and city internationalization, investment, and reciprocal trade. Thousands of Chinese companies have used Chinamex as their road to international markets. At the same time, Chinamex has expanded direct investment in iron ore, oil and petrochemicals, and other international business domains. Chinamex has created the biggest economic and trade platform in Middle East---- Dragon Mart Dubai under the support of Chinese and UAE¡¯s government. After obtaining the successful experience of Dragon Mart Dubai, Chinamex decided to create the biggest economic and trade platform in Latin America under the support of both government of China and Mexico, it enjoyed widely reorganization and close attention from business circles of Mexico and its neighboring countries. Chinamex will provide the Commercial Zone of ¡°Dragon Mart Cancun¡± to the Trade Development Bureau of Chinese Ministry of Commerce as the exhibition hall of ¡°Chinese Products (Cancun) Long-term Exhibition¡±. It is intended to utilize the advantageous geographical location of Mexico and especially Cancun, well developed tourism resources and services of Cancun as an internationally well-known tourist city, the impact of Cancun to the Mexican area, North America and South America, helping the Chinese enterprises to enter and expand American market conveniently. Due to the wealthy experiences of Chinamex in building Dragon Mart Dubai and other overseas platforms, the Trade Development Bureau of Chinese Ministry of Commerce decided to entrust Chinamex as one of the organizers of the exhibition, offering coordination and services. More information about Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Center FZCO, please consult http://www.chinamex.com.cn/ Contact Information of Sponsor Name: The Trade Development Bureau of Chinese Ministry of Commerce Address: Donghuamen Office Area of Ministry of Commerce, No. 82, Dong¡¯anmen Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing Postcode: 100747 Telephone: 0086-10-85226420 Fax: 0086-10-85226470 Website: wmfzj.mofcom.gov.cn Contact Information of Organizers Name: Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Center Address: F308, Ocean Plaza, No. 158, Fuxingmen Nei Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Postcode: 100031 Telephone: 0086-10-65542151 Fax: 0086-10-65542771 Website: http://www.chinamex.com.cn E-mail: yangrun@chinamex.com.cn Contact Person: Yang Run Name: Chengkai (Beijing) Investment Co., LTD. Address: Room 204, Unit 3, Building 6, Chegongzhuang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Postcode: 100044 Telephone: 010-52455160£¬52455170 Fax: 010-68002913 Website: www.bjchengkai.com E-mail: mxgkklc@sina.com QQ: 1422153546 Contact Person: Hu Lifeng Contact Information of Operation Management: Name: Management Dragon Mart Cancun, S.A. De C.V. Address in Mexico: Ave. Gomez Morin 911 Planta Alta, Desp. 24, Colonia del Valle, San Pedro Garza Garc¨ªa, Nuevo Le¨®n, M¨¦xico. Postcode: 66220 Telephone: 0052-8183785512 E-mail: management@dragonmartcancun.mx Contact Person: Mr. Arnulfo Garza Address in China: F308, Ocean Plaza, No. 158, Fuxingmen Nei Street, Xicheng District, Beijing Postcode: 100031 Telephone: 0086-10-65542151 Fax: 0086-10-65542771 E-mail: yangrun@chinamex.com.cn Contact Person: Yang Run Contact Information of Service Partners: Name: COSCO Logistics Co,. Ltd. Address: New Henderson International Building 10-11 Floor, No.3, Maizidian West Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing Postcode: 100016 Website: www.cosco-logistics.com.cn E-mail: sunax@cosco-logistics.com.cn Contact Person: Sun Axue Name: Uni Logistics Inc. Address: Room 1301, Modern Transportation Business Building, No. 218, Hengfeng Street, Zhabei District, Shanghai Postcode: 200070 Telephone: 021-51801797 Fax: 021-51801756 Website: www.america-logistics.com Or www.china-logistics.com E-mail: tennisg@america-logistics.com Contact Person: Gu Minyi ================================================================================================================== Chinamex and Dragon Mart Nakheel and Chinamex announce the grand opening of 'Dragon Mart' Chinamex, the world's largest trading platform for Chinese manufactured goods outside China, will launch its Middle East operations on December 7th at a formal ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its landmark 'Dragon Mart', the permanent exhibition center in International City. United Arab Emirates: Sunday, December 05 - 2004 International City is in Al Warsan, and developed in partnership with Nakheel, the premier real estate developer in Dubai, and Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone Authority. The 'Dragon Mart' pavilion will house thousands of Chinese industrial enterprises offering tens of thousands of quality assured goods. The grand opening announcement was made at a press conference at the Shangri-La Hotel attended by China's Consul General to the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Yang Weiguo; China's Deputy Director General of the Department of Foreign Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, H.E. Zhao Chuang; Chairman of China Business Council, Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Centre FZCO and Chinamex FZCO, Mr. Hao Feng; Nakheel Executive Chairman, H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem and other senior Chinamex and Nakheel executives. 'We firmly believe that the opening of 'Dragon Mart' will transform trade relations between China and the rest of the world,' said Mr. Hao Feng. 'For the first time in history traders and importers from throughout the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Eastern Europe will have direct permanent access to thousands of China's best manufacturers under one roof in Dubai. Our aim is to facilitate the trading process. By bringing our companies closer to our global markets, by removing middle men and by reducing time and travel factors, we hope that this will translate in to significant savings for our business partners and make trading with China a pleasure. We believe that 'Dragon Mart' is a model for future trading platforms.' Mr. Hao Feng added that the 'Dragon Mart' includes extensive warehousing facilities, leading-edge logistics support and financing services. The 'Dragon Mart' complex will be inaugurated at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7th by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Defense Minister of the UAE. Mr. Hao Feng announced that China's Deputy Minister of Commerce, H.E. Wei Jian Guo will be present for the inauguration and will meet with press representatives after the inauguration ceremonies. The 'Dragon Mart' pavilion is the very first building to open within International City, the dramatic 800 hectare complex destined to be a world-class hub for international investors, traders and retailers from around the world. The 'Dragon Mart' extends for 1.2 kilometers across 50 hectares, covering 150,000 square meters of space divided in to several commercial and service areas and including an office complex and business centre. The Dragon head is a 2-storey structure measuring 18 meters high, 220 meters long and 210 meters wide. "The setting up of 'Dragon Mart' in Dubai symbolizes the rising importance of China in the Middle East regional scenario. China's image as an exporter has changed remarkably over the past few years, boosted by dramatic improvement in quality and innovation, making China one of the most sought-after providers of world-class products and services at globally competitive prices. 'Dragon Mart' will assemble some of the best Chinese companies and suppliers under one roof, for the benefit of the entire region and especially the UAE, which is one of the largest trading partners of China," said Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Nakheel. The opening of 'Dragon Mart' is the fruition of years of cooperation between Dubai and Chinese Businesses. 'Dragon Mart' has been established as a strategic partnership between Chinamex Middle East Investment & Trade Promotion Centre FZCO and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority. 'Dragon Mart' is the largest commercial platform for Chinese manufactures outside China. It is part of International City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, one of Nakheel's many iconic projects which include The World, The Palm and many others, which are the embodiment of Dubai's dream for tomorrow. 'Dragon Mart' is a joint venture between Chinamex Middle East Investment and Trade Promotion Centre FZCO and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority aimed to establish a large-scale economic and trading platform for the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Europe. 'Dragon Mart' is comprised of a 1.2 kilometer dragon-shaped pavilion covering an area of 150,000 m² designed to house thousands of qualified Chinese manufacturing enterprises, allowing importers from around the world easy access to an extraordinary range of Chinese industrial products, complete with logistics and financial support systems. International City is located in Al Warsan, just 12 kilometers from Dubai's International Airport and it is a dramatic new complex that is destined to be a world-class hub for international investors, traders and retailers from around the world. The themed environment of residences, business opportunities and tourist attractions is expected to be completed at the end of 2006. When completed, International City will cover an area of 800 hectares of land and will comprise six key areas including The Central District, Dubai Design Centre, The 'Dragon Mart', The Residential District, Lakes District and the Forbidden City. © 1996-2012 by AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited. All rights reserved. This story was posted by Christine H. Andersen, Assistant News Editor Sunday, December 05 - 2004 at 17:17 UAE local time (GMT+4) Find this article at: http://www.ameinfo.com/49978.html "AMEinfo.com", "AMEinfo.com/fn", "the ultimate Middle East business resource" and "the news you choose" are trademarks of AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited. All other products and brandnames mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of AME Info FZ LLC / Emap Limited.

Guangzhou Market Yiwu Market info

=================================================================================================================== http://www.expo-centre.ae/en/pressread.asp?id=646 Guangzhou Market and Products Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre/Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre 西城商业电器城 / 西城电器城 Updated Feb 19 2008 01:52:16 Beijing Time Products: all sorts of electric appliances including TV sets, DVD players and audio products. Description: both are actually retail markets that pool all levels of electric appliances, including most big brands. However, the prices the businessmen claim in this sort of markets are usually fairly flexible, you may find the bargaining skill can help your pocket a lot. And if you are a real know-how, you can get what you want at an amazingly practical price. Add.: Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre, No. 9 – 19, Dongfeng Xi Lu, Guangzhou (广州市东风西路9-19号) Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre, No. 23 – 45, Dongfeng Xi Lu, Guangzhou (广州市东风西23-45号) Zip: 510 160 Tel.: 020 8181 2683, 8181 4288-278 (for Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre) 020 8183 7127 (for Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre) Bus lines: 4, 12, 46, 55, 62, 121, 124, 198, 215, 253, 276, 283, 289, 290 (for Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre) 4, 12, 34, 52, 55, 62, 80, 121, 124, 134, 215, 232, 241, 283, 289 ((for Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre)) (By Chen Wenli) [More Wholesale Markets] Source: www.lifeofguangzhou.com http://www.lifeofguangzhou.com/node_10/node_34/node_187/index.shtml http://www.wowyiwu.com/products/ http://www.wowyiwu.com/yiwu_guide/exhibitions/ Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre http://www.ejetgroup.com/guangzhou-market/xicheng-electric-centre.html Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre Products: all sorts of electric appliances including TV sets, DVD players and audio products. both are actually retail markets that pool all levels of electric appliances, including most big brands. However, the prices the businessmen claim in this sort of markets are usually fairly flexible, you may find the bargaining skill can help your pocket a lot. And if you are a real know-how, you can get what you want at an amazingly practical price. Address: Xicheng Commercial Electric Appliances Centre, No. 9 �C 19, Dongfeng Xi Lu, Guangzhou Xicheng Electric Appliances Centre, No. 23 �C 45, Dongfeng Xi Lu, Guangzhou Industry: TV sets, DVD players, audio products, phones, camera, cumputers Haeinsa electrical Center Haeinsa electrical Center opened in September 1991, Guangzhou City is the first appliances professional market, operating daily from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, shopping malls operating in various domestic and foreign brand-name home electrical appliances, up more than a thousand varieties of species. As shares of the company's first electric Haeinsa the professional market, Haiyin Electric Center has been in good faith "fashion taste, professional edge" business philosophy, and strive to create a professional electronics market. The business area is divided into four main areas: Old Field: The main white goods categories, including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, range hoods, water heaters, etc., followed by radio products, mobile phones, parts and other amplification devices; new field: parts mainly engaged in audio, video category, LCD TVs, mobile phones, digital products and other electrical products. Second field: up to confluence of shops for electrical appliances large field, there are a variety of brand-name audio stores, mobile phones, digital products, electric toys, security monitoring equipment. Second, third floor: The main business is computers, video game category, printers and other office supplies. Haeinsa Electric Center for nearly 20 years experience of electrical development, adhere to the "self-employed, and standardize management" concept, has been at the cutting edge of fashion, contains the most practical, the most advanced technology products. And every self-employed have a price advantage, product quality assurance professionals in the country has done for you first product testing services, protect the quality of goods sold, and have someone to solve your pre-sales, after sales difficult problem. Your purchase of household appliances is the best choice for professional. Industry: refridge, washing machine, air conditioner, range hoods, water heater, radio products, mobile phone, amplification devices, audio, vedio, LCD TV, electric products, digital products
Africans in Guangzhou (1): Yuexiu Market--the Dynamic "Chocolate City" At the end of the 90s in the 20th century, the first batch of Africans came to Guangzhou, their first stop being Canaan clothing market [Clothes Trading Center]. Now, however, with Canaan clothing market as the center, many goods for export markets have sprung up in the surrounding one kilometer area. The people of Guangzhou have gradually come to call this area “Chocolate City”. China has been the biggest trade partner of Africa and the trade volume exceeded $110 billion in 2010[i]. Besides the purchase of oil and minerals done by Chinese government, a lot of Chinese goods also flew into local markets in Africa. We often see western media blaming on the negative economic impact of these low quality Chinese goods on the local markets in Africa.
When Nelson, a Nigerian, arrived in Guangzhou, he lived a typical “luggage bag” life—-carrying several tens of thousand of yuan here to purchase goods and then afterward stuffing them all in a few large luggage bags to fly back with him to Africa. “If I’m lucky, I can get on the plane without it being overweight and having to ship it.” Nelson says that the money for the his airplane ticket and for the goods to be purchased was pooled together by his entire family, that he must earn money, otherwise he will be looked down upon when he returns to Africa. Photo is of Nelson at a motorcycle parts store selecting goods.
Many Chinese shop owners say they don’t like to do business with Africans because they drive such a hard bargain and pay less than other foreigners or Chinese clients. Favour decides not to buy after she cannot get the price she wants at a shop in Guang Da, one of the largest wholesale markets in Guangzhou. San Yuan Li marketplace
But pay attention to the assumption of this argument: because the goods are made in China, the goods must be brought to Africa by Chinese merchants or Chinese government.
Is this assumption true? Africans in Guangzhou (1): Yuexiu Market--the Dynamic "Chocolate City" By JINGHAO LU on July 9, 2011 11:03 PM| 0 Comments| 0 TrackBacks China has been the biggest trade partner of Africa and the trade volume exceeded $110 billion in 2010[i]. Besides the purchase of oil and minerals done by Chinese government, a lot of Chinese goods also flew into local markets in Africa. We often see western media blaming on the negative economic impact of these low quality Chinese goods on the local markets in Africa.
But pay attention to the assumption of this argument: because the goods are made in China, the goods must be brought to Africa by Chinese merchants or Chinese government. Is this assumption true?
Guangzhou's African Community
One of the biggest cities in China, Guangzhou locates at the southern coast of China, near Hong Kong and Macau. People here are crazy about eating. They like to go for "morning tea", which looks like a brunch. Everyone orders a pot of tea and countless delicious steamed food. Old people usually sit here for a whole morning, chatting with each other while refilling their teapot endlessly. Not known by many outsiders, also in this city, more than 100,000 Africans work and live here[ii]. Many are undocumented immigrants. Most of them come and purchase Chinese goods in large quantity from the manufacturers all over China, and ultimately ship the goods back to their motherland. Within a whole week, I spent my days and nights with these Africans, trying to figure out what is happening since the wind of globalization blew into this part of China. Guangzhou people gave the African community a distinctive name--"Chocolate City", directly referring to the skin color of these residents. This community is around the Xiaobei Station area, an extremely crowded trade center of many Chinese commodities--wigs, electronic products, apparels, shoes and many others. More than a dozen of specialized market buildings are here. Each is several stories tall and as wide as a U.S. high school building. Africans can be found everywhere, walking on the street, trading with others inside the buildings or chatting in Chinese and Middle-East restaurants. This is my first impression of the Chocolate City. Inside a Market Building Every specialized market building looks messy. In an apparel market, the ground was covered with trash and wrapping tapes. Loud music was played--sometimes African highlife music, sometimes African American raps, and sometimes Chinese love songs. Shops and shops are so close to each other, making it hard to walk through the corridor. Jeans, shirts, suits, ties, bags, shoes, perfumes and flags were hung on the wall outside of each shop. Buyers come from all over the world, mainly from Africa, Middle East and other regions in China. There were, however, not many buyers in the market today. Shop owners were chatting to each other, no matter what nation the other comes from. Nigerian shop owners on the ground floor Most of the Africans here were nice to me. They grabbed my hand and asked me to sit. They praised that I appeared to be nicer than many Chinese they encountered. To them, a lot of Chinese merchants were wicked and wanted to cheat them. They also complained to me that business was uneasy. The immigration regulation was tough, dollar is getting weak, and sometimes police will disturb them. Also, all the African shop owners do not really own their shops because foreigners are not allowed to do so. They actually rented the shops from Chinese. What is more, not every African is approachable. Some looked at me cautiously. I know many Africans in Guangzhou are illegal immigrants (I will explain this point in my later entries). They probably thought I was a Chinese police because Guangzhou police often raided the market without their uniform in order to make their inspection effective. African kid, Chinese kid, Chinese business owner, Chinese safeguard Besides Africans, I also talked to more than ten Chinese shop owners. All of them said they like Africans. Increasing number of African merchants means more business opportunities. Plus, many of these Chinese business people are not from Guangzhou, but instead from central Chinese provinces like Sichuan, Hunan and Hubei. They are immigrants themselves, and thus they are more sympathetic to the foreign immigrants. In this market I found Chinese shop owners made friends with many Africans within the region. A couple of them told me they had visited or planned to go to Africa as a result of the invitation from their African clients. More than that, I met at least five cases of interracial marriage, with one from China and the other from Africa. Usually the husband comes from Africa and the wife comes from a city other than Guangzhou. But there were exceptions. I also saw mix-blood babies walking around and playing with their African "uncles". A mix-blood child with her Chinese mom in the market
In all, Chinese-African Relationship within the Market looks good. I ended my day by eating African food at an African restaurant on the first floor of this apparel market. The owner is from Africa, and most of the customers are also Africans. Muslims join together for annual festival
GUANGZHOU -- Festivity was in the air as more than 10,000 Chinese and foreign Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha or the Qurban Festival at four mosques in Guangzhou Tuesday. The Huaisheng Mosque and the Abu Waggas Tomb had to hold prayers twice on Tuesday in order to accommodate the number of worshippers. Among them were many African Muslims celebrating the festival with their brothers and sisters from China and other parts of the world. "This is my third Eid al-Adha in China. The festival here is just like that in my country, though I was only able to understand a small part of the imam's exhortations in Chinese," Sissoko Adama, a businessman from Mali, said. Sissoko said he came to Guangzhou because of the good environment for international trade. Like many other Africans in the city, he exports clothes, shoes and other commodities to Africa. "Though we are going through a financial crisis, I thank God my business is still doing well," he said. Guinean Conde Bangaly, 39, also has a company in Guangzhou. A devoted Muslim, he prays at the city's mosques almost every day, and Tuesday offered a sacrifice to celebrate Eid al-Adha, which means Festival of Sacrifice. "I killed a sheep as a sacrifice to Allah. I do it every year, whether in Africa or China," Conde said. He has been living in Guangzhou for the past five years. Since 2000, there has been a surge in the Muslim population in Guangzhou, most are engaged in trade or in the halal food business. The Guangzhou Islamic Association estimates the number of Muslims living in Guangzhou to be between 50,000 and 60,000, though the actual number may be higher. About half of the Muslim population comprises foreigners, with Africans being the largest group. The Xiaodongying Mosque, near Huanshi Middle Road where the offices and apartments of most Africans are located, has become a mosque dominated by them. Bai Lin, an imam at the mosque, said Africans account for about 70 percent of the worshippers. As the mosque is small, many have to pray on the sidewalks outside, he said. "The African Muslims in Guangzhou usually come from western African countries such as Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Niger. Most of them are very devout and humble," Bai said. Although language and religious differences make it difficult for most African Muslims to integrate into Chinese society, some of them are succeeding. Conde for example, has married a Chinese woman Wei Qiuhua, and is planning to buy an apartment in Guangzhou. The couple met two years ago in Guangzhou. Wei said at first her parents were against their marriage, but they later relented. "I have converted to Islam because I love Conde," the 24-year-old said. She has taken the Muslim name of Jamila. The wedding will be held today in Wei's hometown of Shanwei in southeast Guangdong. "Many of my relatives want to toast our marriage with a sip of wine, but I have told them it will be a wedding banquet without alcohol because we are Muslims," Wei said. They will hold another wedding ceremony in Guangzhou, where Conde will invite his African and Chinese friends. They are also planning to hold a ceremony in Guinea when they visit his parents next year. "I don't know whether we will live in China for the rest of our lives. Everything is decided by God," Conde said. ->buy clothes and computer parts ->Canaan market The Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences has estimated that there are around 30,000 legal migrants from Africa in the city. Its senior researcher Dr Peng Peng said the number of Africans arriving grew by around 30% to 40% annually between 2003 and 2008, but now appeared to have peaked. Local media have suggested there could be 100,000 African residents in total. The Red Guest House of Yiwu chinadaily.com.cn The red vinyl banner hanging from the front of Canaan market, a multi-storey wholesale emporium of cheap jeans and hair extensions, begins promisingly "Welcome to Guangzhou" and concludes, less warmly, "Please have your passport ready for checks by police". This southern city in China's Guangdong province has drawn hundreds of thousands of immigrants from across Africa in the last decade: from Burkina Faso and Somalia, Ivory Coast and Ghana, Tanzania and Angola. The banner and the dwindling numbers of traders here attest to an immigration crackdown that has alienated many and left young men injured and languishing in detention, community leaders say. Between 30,000 and 100,000 Africans, mainly young men, are living here. Most are traders lured by the cheapness and variety of goods made in the surrounding Pearl River Delta. In complexes such as Canaan, they purchase nappies, tractor parts, luxuriantly floral shirts, stock cubes, mobile phones, air conditioners, and pirate DVDs. In the Chinese-run cafes around the buildings they eat plantains and fufu as well as rice. Scant funds, don’t care about brands, loves to bargain, likes low-end products are characteristics of the large groups of African businessmen. Over time, these characteristics have led to Chinese businessmen to discriminate and become impatient with them. “[They're] the most practical in doing business the most practical, whereas you can see those European and Americans and Arabs are just different,” a Chinese seller said. Nevertheless, the trade market’s business is very flourishing every day, and the African demand for cheap goods have allowed the processing factories around the outskirts of Guangzhou to prosper. Photo is of a Chinese seller wiping the nose of an African buyer’s infant; using “friendliness” to get business. In Xiaobei, not far from the trading market, is Guangzhou’s largest African neighborhood. Many Africans coming to China for the first time will stay here, living with several or even over a dozen people in a room, beginning their “gold rush” here. Why have they collectively chosen Xiaobei? One long-term researcher of Africans in Guangzhou says: “This place has Guangzhou’s first proper Muslim restaurant.” And in Africa, those who believe in Islam are the majority. Photo is of an African youth eating at a food stall. The expansion of the African’s export business has also spawned African restaurants, African logistics, African intermediaries and other supporting businesses. African businessmen have also brought African laborers and African service staff. Photo is of locals who are no longer unused to seeing Africans.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dagaalkii Darawishta iyo Sawiro Taleex Askar Ingiriisa


Seychelles And Somaliland Take Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers

Seychelles And Somaliland Take Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers London, UK, February 25, 2012 – Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Sillanyo of the Republic of Somaliland have discussed, in a meeting in London on Wednesday, the transfer of convicted Somali pirates currently in prison in Seychelles, to Somaliland to serve their sentences. The meeting was attended by the British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham; Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Joel Morgan; Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam; the British high commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Forbes; the Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamed Abdillahi Omar; as well as the UNODC counter-piracy programme coordinator Alan Cole. The two leaders signed a joint statement to recognize their joint concern about the serious impact piracy has on the region and on international security, and agreed that it is vital to ensure pirates are brought to justice. President Sillanyo confirmed that both the council of ministers and Somaliland parliament had now approved and passed the piracy and prisoner transfer legislation to allow the transfer of convicted pirates. “This commitment between the Seychelles and Somaliland represents an important step forward in the development of a sustainable regional justice mechanism, that will see suspected pirates apprehended by naval forces at sea, prosecuted by regional states, and if convicted, imprisoned in the region,” said the statement from the two leaders. President Michel and President Sillanyo have also committed to securing the first transfer of 19 convicted pirates from Seychelles to Somaliland by the end of March 2012, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding agreed between the Republic of Somaliland and the government of Seychelles, and based on Somaliland’s prison capacity in dealing with pirate transfers. “Somaliland is an important partner in the fight against piracy as it remains a pirate-free area of stability. We commend the Somaliland government for achieving this stability and for its efforts to share the burden of incarcerating the pirates,” said President Michel following the meeting. Source: Seychelles Nation

Gaal Jarmal Ah oo Hargeysa Lagu Xiray Aflaamna ka

Gaal Jarmal Ah oo Hargeysa Lagu Xiray Aflaamna ka duubayay gabdho Somaliyeed oo Waxishnimo ah daawo sawirada. Gaalkaan ayaa gabdhaha ka duubi jiray aflaam galmo iyo qawanaan ah oo ay ku jireen dhowr iyo toban gabdhood. Maxaa lagu xukumayay ayay kula tahay gaalkaan oo 70 jir ahaa una dhashay Jarmalka? Waxaa lagu xukumay 4 sano iyo $10,000 oo ganaaxa sida warar isa soo taraya oon lagu kasoneeneyn sheegayaan in la siideyn rabo kadib dowlada Jarmalka cadaadis ba'an ku hayso dowlada Somaliland. Tani waxa ay tilmameysaa dacifnimaada iyo dabadhilfnimada dadka Somalida ku habsatay. Waxa ay aheyd in ninkaan Dil lagu fuliyo ama xabsi daaim. Sida ay wararku sheegayaan wuxuu gaalku sheegtay in uu Muslim yahay markii danbase qirtay in uu Kristaan yahay. Hargeysa oo nin Jarmal ah lagu xukumay xabsi 4 sano ah Maxkamad ku taalla Hargeysa ayaa xukun 4 sano oo xarig ah ku riday nin u dhashay dalka Jarmalka, kaasoo ka sameynayay gudaha Soomaaliya filim anshax xumo ah iyo sawirro. Saraakiil ayaa sheegay in ninkaasi oo lagu magacaabo Gunter Pischof Albert uu ku lug lahaa falal ka dhan ah diinta Islaamka iyo dhaqanka Soomaalida, isagoo filim iyo sawirro ka qaadanayay gabdho Soomaali ah oo uu galmood la sameynayay. Shalay ayaa maxkamaddu waxay go’aamisay inuu xukunkiisu yahay 4 sano oo xabsi ah iyo ganaax dhan toban kun oo oo doollar. Sidoo kale gabar 23 jir ah ayaa iyadana lagu xukumay hal sano oo xarig ah iyo ganaax lacageed oo dhan 880 doollar Garsoorihii Maxkamadda iyo dadka dacwada dhageysanayay ayaa muujinayay sida ay uga xun yihiin falka noocan oo kale ah oo meel ka dhac ku ah dhaqanka Soomaalida. Ciidamada ammaanka ayaa sheegay in Albert oo ay da’diisu tahay 72 jir uu la shaqeynayay laba hay’adood oo caalami ah oo kuwa samafalka ah, kuwaasoo aan magacooda la sheegin. Xukunkan ayaa noqonaya kii ugu horreeyay ee noociisa ah, iyadoo maamulka Somaliland uu digniin ugu jeedisay qofkii ama shirkaddii lagu helo falalkaasi oo kale in ciqaab adag la marsiin doono.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Sheikh Imran Hosein The Sufi, The Salafi & Akhirruzaman

Sheikh Imran Hosein The Sufi, The Salafi & Akhirruzaman http://www.emel.com/article?id=&a_id=1082

Britain is involved in a secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia

Mark Townsend and Tariq Abdinasir Saturday, February 25, 2012 Britain is involved in a secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia, with the government offering humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in the beleaguered country's future energy industry. Riven by two decades of conflict that have seen the emergence of a dangerous Islamic insurgency, Somalia is routinely described as the world's most comprehensively "failed" state, as well as one of its poorest. Its coastline has become a haven for pirates preying on international shipping in the Indian Ocean. David Cameron last week hosted an international conference on Somalia, pledging more aid, financial help and measures to tackle terrorism. The summit followed a surprise visit by the foreign secretary, William Hague, to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, where he talked about "the beginnings of an opportunity'' to rebuild the country. The Observer can reveal that, away from the public focus of last week's summit, talks are going on between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored in the arid north-eastern region of the country. Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi, minister for international cooperation in Puntland, north-east Somalia – where the first oil is expected to be extracted next month – said: "We have spoken to a number of UK officials, some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues. They will help us build our capacity to maximise future earnings from the oil industry." British involvement in the future Somali oil industry would be a boon for the UK economy and comes at a time when the world is increasingly concerned about the actions of Iran, the second-biggest oil producer in Opec. Hashi, in charge of brokering deals for the region's oil reserves, also said Somalia was looking to BP as the partner they wanted to "help us explore and build our oil capacity". He added: "We need those with the necessary technical knowhow, we plan to talk to BP at the right time." Somali prime minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said his government had little choice but to entice western companies to Somalia by offering a slice of the country's natural resources, which include oil, gas and large reserves of uranium. "The only way we can pay [western companies] is to pay them in kind, we can pay with natural resources at the fair market value." Britain is not the only country looking to develop Somalia's vast natural resources. Last month oil exploration began in Puntland by the Canadian company Africa Oil, the first drilling in Somalia for 21 years. Hashi, who sealed the Africa Oil deal, said the first oil was expected to be extracted within the next "20 to 30 days". The company estimates there could be up to 4bn barrels (about $500bn worth at today's prices) in its two drilling plots. Other surveys indicate that Puntland province alone has the potential to yield 10bn barrels, placing it among the top 20 countries holding oil. Chinese and US firms are among those understood to have also voiced interest about the potential for oil now that, for the first time in 20 years, the country is safe enough to drill. Yet it is the extent of oil deposits beneath the Indian Ocean that is most exciting Somali officials. One said the potential was comparable to that of Kuwait, which has more than 100bn barrels of proven oil reserves. If true, the deposits would eclipse Nigeria's reserves – 37.2bn barrels – and make Somalia the seventh largest oil-rich nation. The state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation has tried to acquire an interest in Somalia's reserves. Senior officials from the Somali transitional government are adamant that the imminent extraction of oil in Puntland next month would kickstart a scramble from the multinationals. On Thursday, the last day of the London conference, BP and Shell unveiled an initiative to support job-creation projects in the coastal regions of Somalia. A subsidiary of Shell was thought to have acquired exploration concessions in Puntland before the descent into lawlessness in 1991. A BP spokesman said there were "no plans" to work in Somalia and no official had recently visited the country. Source: The Observer


Muslims Yiwu Yiwu Mosque Guangdong and Fujian provinces Fujian, located across the China Straits from Taiwan, is the ancestral home of many Taiwanese. Guangdong Province is adjacent to Hong Kong and the ancestral home of many Hong Kongese. Both Guangdong and Fujian provinces were some of the first areas opened to foreign investment in China and were some of the first locations for sino-foreign joint ventures and wholly foreign-owned enterprises engaged in the manufacture of famous international brands of consumer products. Hong Kong-LoWu border-Shenzhen http://homepage.fudan.edu.cn/dzcheng/files/2011/09/8.5-Organized-crime-local-protectionism-and-the-trade.pdf Five major wholesale markets in China: Hanzhen Jie in Wuhan City, Hubei Province; Linyi Market in Linyi, Shandong Province; Nansantiao Market in Shijiazhuang in Hebei Province; China Small Commodities City in Yiwu City, Zhejiang Province; Beijing,hundreds of small retail vendors swarm the Tianyi wholesale market And Wuai Market in Shenyang,Liaoning Province. Together, these markets serve the entire coastal region of China and its most populous urban areas including Guangzhou in the south, to Shanghai in the east, and Beijing and Tianjin in the northeast. A branch of the China Small Commodities City market of Yiwu located in Wulumuqui in Xinjiang Province serves as an export post for the Middle East and Eastern Europe. These markets (represented by circles) and their relationship to the manufacturing centers (shaded areas) are set forth in the map below. In 1982, the Yiwu AIC established the Zhejiang China Small Commodities City Group, (Shang Cheng Ji Tuan in Chinese, and hereinafter SCJT), a wholesale market specializing in trading small commodities. China Small Commodities Market (CSCM) Management Company One SCJT subsidiary, the CSCM Management Company, actually engages in the trading of counterfeit goods and serves a major role in distribution of these products to the SCJT’s branch markets. Based upon the author’s own experience, at least 90% of the products sold in the China Small Commodities market are either counterfeit or infringing products. In some cities, such as Yiwu discussed below, the entire local economy is connected to the trade in counterfeits. Role of Yiwu in distribution. Yiwu serves a central distribution center for counterfeit goods to markets around the country. At the center of town, two large transportation companies occupy two open-area transport areas, both the size of football fields. Around the perimeter of these areas are representative local transport offices from cities and towns all over China. Operating continuously day and night, trucks and lorries unload counterfeit products made in southern China in factories financed by criminal organizations in Hong Kong and Taiwan in one open transport area for storage and sale in Yiwu’s wholesale markets. In the other open transport area, other trucks and lorries load counterfeit products already bought from these wholesale markets in for delivery to all parts of China. ============================================================================ http://www.tradekey.com/product_view/id/84992.htm Introduction of Yiwu Market --China Commodity City The Yiwu market is the largest consumer goods market in Asia area. Now most overseas Chinese businessman and more than 3000 foreign traders purchase goods every day from Yiwu market and sell ( transport ) to Mid-East, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. And many traders from Korea, Taiwan, Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore do business at Yiwu market. Why do they choose Yiwu market? Because Yiwu market has the largest variety of products found anywhere in the wholesale market place, the cheaper price comparing to other market, convenient transportation and many other advantages. They can purchase two or more ctns per item. Yiwu market is divided into many different markets, including: 1. Art & crafts market---- glass gifts, wooden gifts, crystal goods, bead & stone goods, Christmas gifts, and all kinds of handmade goods etc. 2. Stationeries Market ----pencil, fountain pen, ball pen, pencil box files and all kinds of office supply. 3. Accessories Market---- handmade ring, earring, necklace, hair pin, wig, and all kinds of imitation jewelry etc. 4. Clocks & watchs Market---- all kinds of electric/machine clocks& watchs 5. Sports Goods Market-all kinds of sports and leisure goods( football, volleyball, badminton, stpper, bicycle, running machine, etc? . ) 6. Textile Market --- clothes, cloth material, towel, and tie etc 7. Socks Market--- all kinds of socks( 100% cotton, nylon materials) 8. Tool Market---- screw driver, forceps, electronic tools, hand tools, garden tools, and all kinds of tool set 9. Toys Market---- all kinds of toys (woolen toys, wooden toys, plastic toys, electronic toys etc. ) 10. Electric Products Market----all kind of radio recorder, vcd/cd/mp3 player, earphone, microphone iron etc. There also are Glasses Market, Umbrella Market, Kitchenware Market, Artifical Flower Market, Lace & Ribbon Market etc. Yiwu is very close to Shanghai, the largest city of china. It takes 4 hours by train or car, and only 30 minutes by air to Shanghai city. Generally, we ship our goods from Shanghai and Ningbo international port which have transportation lines to all the major ports of the world. Now we are setting up the partner and customer database. We welcome more honest and powerful partners to do business with us. If you are interested in Yiwu market, please feel free to contact us, we will do our best to make your shopping in Yiwu market the most enjoyable, reliable, and hassle free experience. The goods from China Commodity City spread to 160 countries and regions, are salable in Southeast Asia, Middle East, Occident etc, yearly export volume has strongly reached 50% of total trading amount, in which, the export volume of predominant industry goods such as craftwork, ornament, small hardware, glasses, etc is 70% above, in the markets, above 60% merchants have supplying business of foreign trade, so now permanent foreign merchants in Yiwu are more than 5000, foreign commercial institutions are over 200. In May 2002, Shi Guangsheng, former minister of State Foreign Economic & Trade Ministry, drove the quill to write down pigraph of "face to the world, serve the whole country". wholesale marketYiwu Markets is the biggest commodity woholesale markets in the world,it is … train from shanghai to yiwu,You can find anything in Yiwu Wholesale Markets. Yiwu is the largest commodity city in the planet,famous for commodity city and huge products range in the market.The whole yiwu city like a supper market, the booth not only inside markets,but also spread out the streets. There are total 320,000 kinds of commodities in over 1,502 categories of 34 industries spreat out in 4 main markets, and ship to over 200 countries and regions. The boothes is around 40,000 in these 4 main markets, don't including the boothes spread out some street in yiwu. Currently Yiwu market consist of 4 main markets, Yiwu huanyuan market,Yiwu socks market (Knitting market),Yiwu binwang market,Yiwu international trade market(Yiwu futian market). Yiwu Huanyuan market Fashion scarf,Fashion belts,Daily use items,Footwear,Trimming,Lace,Caps,hats,Glove Yiwu Socks market ( Knitting market ) Socks ,stocking,Toe socks,Leg warmers,Tights,it is all about hosiery products. http://behindthewall.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/01/05/5770170-need-fridge-magnets-in-bulk-no-prob Yiwu Binwang market Necktie,Men's Dress shirt,Towels,trimming and lace (food stuff,garments in this market is most for domestic sale) Yiwu International trade city market ( Yiwu Futian market ) This market consist of 4 main buildings,the 4th building will be completed in Oct.,2008. all the above boothes in Huanyuan market and Socks market will move to this market after October,2008. 1st building ( consisit of District A,B,C,D,E with 4 floors ) Artificial flower,Toys,Fashion jewelry,Hair accessories,Jewelry fittings,Arts and crafts,Photo frame,Crystal items,Holiday items. 2nd building ( consisit of District E,F with 4 floors ) Ladies bags,Wallets,Hardware,Kitchenware,Locks,Scooters,Bikes,ATV,Watches,Clocks,Mobile acessories,Home appliance. 3st building ( district H ) Cosmetic,Stationery,Sports items,Fitness equipments,Garments accessories,Zipper,buttoms,gifts packing materials. 4th building is under construction, will be completed in Oct.,2008. As we said before, also there are a lot of shops along the street, there are some stree famous for one products and become a street market, we call it "professional street", here is some famous professional street in Yiwu: Scarf professional street, it is all about scarf,shawl, it is outside of Huanyuan market, along Huangshan street,Wutai street. Belts professonal stree, it is all about belts,men's belts,woment's belts, it is outside of Huanyuan market, along Chouzhou middle Road. Picture frame,photo frame professional street, it is near International trade market China Railway High Speed train ( CRH) Now there is two shifts per day CRH to Shanghai and Hangzhou, it only take 40 mins to Hangzhou, 2hrs to Shanghai. Yiwu to Shanghai: Train #: D686 10:00 AM 12:13 PM Train #: D92 11:50 AM 13:08 PM Shanghai to Yiwu: Train #: D685 07:25 AM 9:40 AM Train #: D665 13:12 PM 15:25 PM http://www.yiwumarketagent.com/2011/08/yiwu-wholesale-market/ Yiwu Huangyuan market including 1.Socks & Stocking market,about 3000 booths 2.Underwear market,about 200 booths 3.Scarfs & Gloves market,about 1500 booths 4.2 Daily-use markets,about 2000 booths 5.Shoe market,about 500 booths II Yiwu Binwang market including 1.Garments market,about 1000 booths 2.Towel market,about 200 booths 3.Necktie market,about 200 booths 4.Bedding market,about 300 booths 5. food and beverage, about 300 booths III Futian market first phase including 1.Arts and Crafts market about 2000 booths 2.Artifical flowers & garden decoration market,about 1000 booths 3.Toy market,about 6000 booths 4.Imitation jewelry & hair ornament market,about 7000 booths 5.Christams items market ,about 500 booths 6.Gife market ,about 500 booths 7.Photo frame & picture frame market,about 500 shops 8.Jewelry accessory market about 200 boths IV Futian market second? phase including 1.Glasses Market,about 200 booths 2.Stationery market,about 3000 booths 3.Bags & suitecase market,about 2000 booths 4.Cosmetic market,about 800 booths 5.Lighter & shaver market,about 300 booths 6.Hardware & handtool market,about 2000 booths 7.Electric & electronic,about 1000 booths 8.Kitchenware market,about 300 booths 9.Clock & watch market,about 400 booths 10.Raincoat & umbrella market,about 400 booths 11.Sports and Entertainments market ,about 400 booths V Special business steets including 1.Zipper steet,about 300 booths 3.Auto accessory street,about 300 booths 4.imitation jewellery street,about 400 booths 5.Arts and Crafts street ,about 300 booths 6.lighter street, about 300 booths 7.Plastic items street ,about 100 booths 8.Picture and Photo frame steets ,about 200 booths Now we have complete the seeing of all the market in short time because in? Yiwu there is very Convenient traffic,so one market and the next one by taxi only 10 or 15 min is enough. http://www.anxin-yiwu.com/market/index.asp http://www.anxin-yiwu.com/product/product_view.en.asp?version=en&id=1403 =============================================================================================== Yiwu City Yiwu City in the middle of Zhejiang Province, Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, is. Jinqu the eastern edge of the basin, geographical coordinates of latitude 29 ° 18 ', longitude 120 ° 04'. The total area of ​​1105.46 square kilometers, of which urban area of ​​90 square kilometers (2010). Household population of 740,000, the resident population of 1.234 million, registered a population of 190.79 million (end of 2010). Yiwu Municipality seven streets, six towns: crowded city streets, Beiyuan street, Choujiang street, Jiangdong Street, after the house street, west street, Niansanli streets; on the town, Yiting, the temple town, Chian town, the Soviet Union Town, Dachen. County government in crowded city streets Street 21. Dominated by hills, South East, surrounded by mountains, the southern border of the Big Chill Yongkang sharp elevation of 925.6 meters, the city's highest peak, a large northern river tile Chen shook his head, elevation 41.9 m, as the city's lowest point. Qiantang River is a river, the longest river within the Yiwu River, there is a large and Chen Jiang Hong patrol the river and other rivers. There Yankou reservoirs. Subtropical monsoon climate, annual average temperature of 17 ℃, the average annual rainfall between 1100-1600 mm, annual average sunshine 2129.7 hours, frost-free period of 243 days. Yiwu the biggest supermarket in the world for small commodities wins accolades when it comes to connectivity. It is well-connected with other important cities in the country. Astounding infrastructure enables very easy access from farthest of the places to Yiwu. World-class airport, frequent flights, railways and roadways- everything connects the shoppers paradise to the rest of the world. Moreover, premium hotels and restaurants with international standards are just impeccable. Many people also prefer to approach Yiwu trade agents who provide one-stop solution. They plan your entire itinerary and even provide translation and shipping services. The city also strikes balance as it is beautifully developed as a green city. Regardless the tremendous commercialization, there are lush greens spread all over Yiwu. There are various tourist places as the city offers a glimpse into the past glory of China. Many tourists come to visit Yiwu City for its rich history and culture. http://www.yiwuagentchina.com/ ================================================================================================ www.yiwushoes.com http://xiamenyiwu.en.alibaba.com/productgrouplist-211869370/Beach_Slipper.html http://xiamenyiwu.en.alibaba.com/ Xiamen Yiwu Import & Export Co., Ltd (Footwear) is a leading supplier of varies footwear in Fujian province. Our company enjoys a high reputation for high quality products and considerate services. Our main products include eva clogs, slippers & flip flop, sandals,sport shoes,football shoes,canvas shoes,Shes Upper, Shoes Vamp,shoe accessories, shoes moulds, shoe making machines. We are registered export company which authorized by our government, License no: 350211200002159.With a shoes manufacturing factory which covers about 3,000 square meters, we employ approximately 100 high quality talents and 300 specialized workers. Meanwhile we also carry out a strict quality management system in accordance with ISO9001 requirements. You can have a wide selection to choose from our Xiamen Showrooms including slippers, sandals, sports shoes, shoe materials. Our current annual capacity is 5 million pairs. ================================================================================================ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/ Bambo Diapers Mamy Poko Unicarm Diapers Supuy Mall online Bubchen Milk Cream Pigeon Cotton Swabs

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Identities on the move: clanship and pastoralism in northern Kenya

Identities on the move: clanship and pastoralism in northern Kenya By Günther Schlee

Les Yibro By Christian Bader

Abdikadir Adan XiitoA Minnesota-Somali mentor, mathematician and moral force

A Minnesota-Somali mentor, mathematician and moral force By Douglas McGill, TC Daily Planet February 22, 2012 There is no wire connecting my mind to yours,”Abdikadir Adan Xiito informs me crisply. He’s explaining his philosophy for teaching math to children, in between sessions correcting the workbooks of two dozen young students in an afternoon homework class at the tutoring school here that bears his name, the Xiito Academy. The young Somali boys and girls bend over their desks solving sets of addition, multiplication and fraction problems. One might expect high-energy hubbub and hijinks in a late afternoon class for kids, after they’ve spent a full day in school. But no, the room is quiet, energized but serene. The swish of turning notebook pages is the loudest sound in the room. Every few minutes, a child completes a set of problems, jumps up and plops down in a chair next to Teacher Xiito (pronounced HEE-toe, the word is a nickname meaning “skinny” in Somali), nervously handing over a notebook for his corrections. Elegant and slim, decked out in a woolen scarf, Xiito exudes an air of focused intensity. In the classroom, his focus is somehow placed equally on every child in the room. He speeds through each finished problem set that is brought to him with a ballpoint pen, drawing a quick slash through the correct answers, engaging the students to correct the flubs. A Minnesota Miracle “Very good,” he finally pronounces before writing down a fresh set of addition problems for a seven-year-old boy, the set customized to slightly expand the child’s skill level. Looking happy, as if he’s just been hugged, the boy grabs his corrected dog-eared workbook and darts back to his seat where he immediately regroups, refocuses, and keeps working. “To teach them you need to directly connect to their minds,” Xiito says, completing his thought to me. “I say to them sit, first. Listen, second. Watch me, third. And then ask questions. That’s the wire that I use to connect to the kids’ minds: sit, listen, watch me and ask questions. It works.” It has worked an astonishing Minnesota miracle of sorts for Teacher Xiito, who opened his tutoring academy, the Somali Education Center, in 2001 to help keep Somali children in the state from falling behind in school. Since then he and a team of volunteer teachers have taught math, English, biology, environmental science and U.S. citizenship skills to more than 2,000 Somali boys and girls in the state. A Moral Authority Hundreds of Xiito’s young charges have gone on to finish high school and attend vocational schools and college. His school’s two branches, in Minneapolis and Burnsville, also run special education events such as a Girl’s Math Contest held last summer. Such successes, and Xiito’s charismatic teaching style, have frequently been featured on Somali TV and other media, and YouTube is replete with video homages to Xiito offered by grateful students and parents. “He’s indispensable to the Somali community in Minnesota,” said Abdi Aynte, a reporter for the Al Jazeera broadcasting company, who was tutored by Xiito in college for a time. “For many students, it would be impossible to make it through high school and college without him.” What makes Xiito stand out, Aynte said, is the depth of his sincerity and integrity. “He wants to help the Somali community’s most vulnerable group, the young, who are at risk for both gangs and extremists,” Aynte said. “He’s a towering moral authority in our community.” Road to Minnesota Minnesota’s Somali community numbers in the tens of thousands and is the world’s largest diaspora community of Somalis. The stream of refugees to the state began in 1991, at the beginning of a civil war which continues to this day, has killed a half million people, and has forced more than two million to live as refugees inside and outside the country. Xiito’s road to Minnesota was typical of many Somali refugees who now live in the state. When the civil war started in 1991, he was a recent graduate of Lafoole University near Mogadishu, just starting as a high school math teacher. He fled to the Otango refugee camp in neighboring Kenya, where he lived for six years before arriving in Minnesota in 1996. He arrived in this state without a penny, knowing only scraps of English. He worked for a year as a janitor in the 2550 Court International Administration Building in St. Paul, before taking a double-shift job at the Minneapolis airport, checking in-flight catered meals. “I didn’t see the sun for two years,” he remembers. By 2000 he’d saved enough money to enroll at the Metropolitan Technical and Community College in Minneapolis. Personal Crisis But his savings ran out. He had to leave after only a semester, and it triggered a personal crisis for Xiito. “I had three dreams for my life in the U.S.,” he says. “The first was to make a living. The second was to go to university. My third dream was to help people on this earth. I knew I had missed my chance at university. But we should extend ourselves and lend a hand to other human beings. I realized I could still achieve my third dream, and that’s why I started the school.” One of his first volunteer teachers was Suleiman Amin Egeh, a Somali immigrant himself who signed on after marveling at Xiito’s generosity. “He’s not only a teacher, he’s a creator and a developer,” Suleiman said. “I was amazed by the man. He started from zero. He saw the need and he began with his own time and money, with small donations from parents. I had never seen anything like it, and I decided to volunteer.” By 2008, Xiito and his volunteers were tutoring more than 200 students a year, and Xiito was famous for his math teaching in particular. The Quizmaster YouTube’s Teacher Xiito section features videos in which students as young as six years old stand next to Xiito as he fires quiz questions at them: “Five times six? Eight times four? Three times nine? Square root of 36? Square root of 144? Twelve times ten? Eighteen times eighteen?” Enjoying the game immensely, the little prodigies shout back answers in a flash, their faces beaming with pride: “30! 32! 27! 6! 12! 120! 324!” Fadumo Husein, who began sending her fourth grade son to see Xiito in December for math tutoring, says these dramatic videos are no marketing concoction, but rather reflect a common transformation among Xiito’s kids. “My son couldn’t add two and seven before,” she says. “I was worried about him. Now, within three months, he’s good at math. He was scared at public school but now he has confidence, he believes in himself.” Xiito teaches their children a lot more than math, parents say. “He teaches how to focus and get serious,” said Farhio Kalif, a Somali TV show host, whose son is tutored at the Xiito Academy. “Those are important skills. When I took my son in, I was amazed to see that within minutes he wasn’t looking at me, he was just looking in his workbook.” The Question “It’s also good to have someplace to take the kids for two or three hours, where you know they are safe and learning useful things,” Kalif adds. “Xiito is good for the health of the parents, as well as their children.” To keep the school going has required resilience at every step. Along with many other Minnesota non-profits, the school lost much of its funding in 2009, a huge blow. Some classes were dropped. But with added support from volunteer staffing and parent donations, the school, rechristened the Xiito Academy, has kept running seven days a week. “We lost our funding, but I didn’t want to lose my dream,” Xiito said. “I have only one passion and it’s education,” he says. “It’s a way of life. It’s the future of both the individual and the state. So

Ending Somali Piracy Against American and Allied Shipping

Ending Somali Piracy Against American and Allied Shipping By Mark Kirk, Mark Kirk (au)



Heesihii Cabdi Baadil & Labodhagax


March 3, 2009 Sh Ibraahim Suuley oo Xaley Hargeysa ku Geeriyoodey.

Sh Ibraahim Suuley oo Xaley Hargeysa ku Geeriyoodey. Published on March 3, 2009 by Somalimirror · 47 Comments · Xaley Magaalada Hargeysa ee Xarunta Gobolka Waqooyi Galbeed waxaa ku geeriyoodey Alle ha’u naxariistee, Sh Ibraahim Maxamed Cali Suuley oo ka mid ah Culimada Soomaaliyeed kuwooda ugu Caansan uguna Da’a weyn. Sh Ibraahim Muddo sanado ahba waxaa hayey Cuduro dhowr ah oo la soo dersay ugu danbeystii dhul dhigay oo uu geeriyoodey, Ilaahey ha’u naxariistee. Da’a Sheekha ayaa ku dhaweyd 80 jir, sida uu Saxaafada u sheegay Sh Maxamuud Sh Ibraahim Suuley oo ka mid ah Caruurta Sheekhu dhaley. Galabta Salaada Casir ka dib ayaa lagu wadaa in lagu Aaso, Qabuuraha Naaso Hablood ee Magaalada Hargeysa. Waxa uu sheekhu ka mid ahaa Culimada Soomaaliyeed kuwooda ugu waaweyn, waxa uuna Cilmiga Diinta, gaar ahaan Cilmiga Tasfiirka iyo Axaadiista ku soo bartey Dalka Sacuudiga oo lug uu ku tegay. Waxaana uu halkaa Waxbarashada ka wadey ilaa uu heer Jaamacadeed ka gaarey. Ka dib in muddo ah oo waxbarasho Dalka Sacuudiga ugu maqnaa, 1959 ayuu Dalka dib ugu soo noqdey, waxa uuna barista Diinta 1961 ka bilaabey Magaalada Muqdisho. 1990 ilaa 1998 waxa uu inbadan isku howlay ka shaqeynta Nabada iyo dhex dhexaadinta Qabaa’ilkii Soomaaliyeed ee Dagaalada Sokeeyo u dhexeeyeen. Ka dib markii Ciidamada Gumeysiga Itoobiya Soo galeen Dalka 2006 waxa uu degay oo ku sugnaa Magaalada Hargeysa oo Xaley uu ku geeriyooday. 1920 ayuu ku dhashey meel u dhow xarunta Gobolka Hiiraan ee Baladweyne, halkaas oo waxbarashadiisa Asaasiga ah ku soo qaatey.

Somaliland Development Corporation was to "to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country."

By William Maclean LONDON | Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:11am EST LONDON Feb 24 (Reuters) - The breakaway enclave of Somaliland, which boasts oil and gas potential, has set up a UK-linked corporation to act as an entry point for investors concerned the Somali territory's lack of international recognition would stop contracts being enforced. On a visit to London to attend a conference on Somalia, President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo told Reuters that the purpose of the Somaliland Development Corporation was to "to attract companies and institutions which want to invest in our country." "Since we are not a recognised country, insurance is always a difficult problem in Somaliland so if this can help with that, it would be useful." Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has enjoyed relative stability compared to the rest of Somalia, including the holding of a series of peaceful general elections, but remains unrecognised internationally. Silanyo did not indicate what economic sectors he wished investors to target. But energy and mining minister Hussein Abdi Dualeh said in November the northern enclave had hydrocarbon potential with a geology similar to basins containing 9 billion barrels across the Gulf of Aden. A number of big oil companies with permits to operate there left what is now Somaliland in the late 1980s and declared force majeure during Somalia's escalating civil conflict. Several foreign banks have expressed interest in operating in Somaliland where they are keen to capitalise on its untapped market potential. Somaliland has no formal banking sector and its people rely heavily on remittances from diaspora communities in Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates, as there are no ATMs or loan facilities. A briefing paper distributed to journalists on the sidelines of the London conference said that despite Somaliland's "achievements in stability and democracy, international donors cannot deal directly with its government, and foreign investors face uncertainty about whether contracts - the basis of secure business - can be enforced". The SDC circumvented the problem of non-recognition by providing "a transparent, accountable and enforceable means by which investors can participate in Somaliland ventures". A not-for-profit company had been set up in Britain to act as the founding vehicle, with Somaliland's Minister of State Mohamed-Rashid Hassan and Britons Myles Wickstead, a former diplomat, and Jeremy Carver, a retired international lawyer, as founding directors. The SDC is owned by an incorporated trust, the Somaliland Development Corporation Trust, the paper said. Oil discoveries would be a cash boon to Somaliland though hydrocarbons have often proven to be a curse to African nations as the opaque nature of the industry can breed corruption. Colonised by Britain while the rest of Somalia was under Italian administration, Somaliland declared independence in 1991 as the rest of the country disintegrated into anarchy. But the African Union and foreign powers have not recognised Somaliland. Many in the breakaway republic suspect the African Union fears its formal recognition would trigger a flurry of secession bids across the continent. (Reporting by William Maclean; editing by Ron Askew)

This cabbie hunts pirates Ex Toronto Cab driver Puntland Min of Navy

This cabbie hunts pirates April 13, 2009 Former Toronto taxi driver is now in charge of a Somali coast guard Tags: Coast Guard, pirates, Somali-Canadian, Somalia To hear Abdiweli Ali Taar tell it, the pirates’ days of hijacking and plunder off the Somali coast are coming to an end. Early in the new year, vows the former Toronto cab driver and Le Château sales clerk, he will lead his men into battle. And the world’s media, should they choose to ignore the obvious risks, are welcome to bear witness. “We are going to where the pirates are holding the ships. I’m going to attack them,” Taar says via a crackling cellphone connection. The Puntland Coast Guard—or as they are known for business purposes, the SomCan (short for Somali-Canadian) Coast Guard—will face long odds. Taar’s armada consists of one armed 30-m patrol vessel and three rusting hulks with anti-aircraft guns mounted on the decks, captured from his adversaries in a previous skirmish. He has 210 militiamen in his employ. The pirate gangs—10 at last count—are said to have as many as 1,000. And then there is the question of motivation. The ransom demand for the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star, one of close to two dozen vessels currently being held off the coast, is US$25 million. The asking price for the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship laden with Russian tanks, ammo and rocket-propelled grenades, is a cool $20 million. Taar’s men earn $400 a month. But since SomCan signed its contract this past summer with the government of Puntland—a semi-autonomous region in Somalia’s north with 1,600 km of coastline and home to most of the pirates plying their trade off the Horn of Africa—there have been signs of progress. “I’m doing a good job. I’ve arrested the pirates and put them in jail,” says Taar. His biggest success came in early October, when the coast guard liberated a group of Syrian sailors being held on the Wail, a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier, after an 11-day standoff. “I told the pirates, ‘You are surrounded. Put your hands up.’ They refused,” Taar explains. “They shot one of my crew and he died. And then I made the decision to attack them.” Ten sea bandits were captured and now await trial in a jail in the port city of Bosasso. A step forward, although perhaps undercut by reports that the Wail’s Puntland-bound cargo of cement was the property of a government minister. Of course, it’s also hard to overlook the fact that this is Taar’s second stint as head of the coast guard. SomCan’s first contract ended ignominiously in 2005, when three of its own employees were arrested for hijacking a Thai fishing trawler. There were also allegations of corruption, political infighting, and a spectacular gun battle between SomCan’s militiamen and Puntland’s police and army. This time things are different, says Taar. He’s running for the Puntland presidency in the Jan. 8 elections. And a recent meeting in Nairobi with United Nations officials and foreign diplomats, including Canada’s ambassador to Kenya, has given him hope that the international community will soon offer some material support to his rag-tag band of sailors. The battle against Somalia’s pirates appears to be heading into a new phase, with the UN Security Council authorizing foreign militaries to take action from the failed state’s skies and on its shores—with the permission of its in-name-only “national” government. SomCan’s coast guard may not be much, but it is the only domestic force currently battling the hijackers. The world needs their expertise, says Taar. “Somalian pirates are very smart and they are very rich. When they see the U.S. and other navy ships, they go on vacation. Some of them go to Florida. When the navy ships leave the area, they go back to their business.” The ex-Torontonian should know. By all accounts, the swelling ranks of Somalia’s pirates include not just disgruntled police and soldiers, but more than a few of his former employees. If you want to find someone important in Somalia, the neighbourhood just east of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport is a good place to start. “Dixon,” as it is known, became the first stop for thousands of refugees from the war-torn country starting in the mid-1980s. And it is still the crossroads for the Somali diaspora in Canada—close to 38,000 people, according to the last census; more than half of them living in the GTA. “They are all here in Canada—the government, the pirates, the terrorists,” says Osman Ali, head of the Somali-Canadian Association of Etobicoke, and Puntland’s special envoy in Canada. “They go back and forth, especially around election time.” Ali, who has been a Canadian citizen for close to 30 years, remembers the Taars—Abdiweli, and his brothers Hiff and Abdul Raman. “I saw them go from driving taxis to becoming very rich men,” he says. Abdiweli, the eldest, was the first to arrive in Canada in 1985, living for a time in Montreal, then settling in Toronto. Over the years, he found himself underemployed in a series of classic immigrant jobs—a cleaner at Pearson airport, sales clerk, driving instructor, behind the wheel of a cab. Always entrepreneurial, he left the country for Dubai in 1995 to start a fishing company. Drawing on contacts he had made in Toronto’s Asian community, he found a niche exporting sea cucumbers harvested off the Horn of Africa—one of the world’s richest fishing grounds—to the Far East. “He’s a likeable, social guy, but he was very focused on the business,” says Farah Aw-Osman, Abdiweli’s roommate for two years in Dubai, and now executive director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Friends of Somalia. Hiff, a former Somali navy officer, captained the family’s growing fishing fleet, always well-armed to discourage pirates and competitors along the lawless Somali coast. (The country has been in various states of anarchy since the overthrow of Marxist dictator Siad Barre in 1991.) After the founding of Puntland in 1998, the Taars continued to grow their business, acting as go-betweens with the fledgling government and a Thai fishing company. But the family really came into its own during the brief civil war in 2001, when the state’s founding president, the former guerrilla leader Abdullahi Yusuf, launched a military campaign against his elected successor. The Taars, members of the same clan, rallied to Yusuf’s cause, with Hiff becoming a key military adviser. And when Yusuf triumphed, they prospered. In late 2001, the brothers received their first contract to take over the Puntland coast guard. “The Taars got this opportunity as a favour, because they were so helpful to Yusuf during the civil war,” says Stig Jarle Hansen, a Norwegian researcher who has been studying Puntland politics since the state’s inception. The deal, which allowed SomCan to sell fishing licences, splitting the proceeds with the government, was a profitable one. And the Taar empire quickly diversified, with the brothers acquiring a pasta factory in Bosasso, and building the Taar City Hotel in Gaalkacyo—a plush resort and conference centre where ostriches roam the grounds—now run by Abdul Raman, the youngest brother. Pages: 1 2 3 This cabbie hunts pirates April 13, 2009 The SomCan-run Coast Guard, which at its height employed about 400 militiamen, scored some victories. Piracy, while a problem, wasn’t nearly the epidemic it is now, so the force spent much of its time trying to stop illegal foreign fishing, and the dumping of toxic waste along the Somali coast. The Taars’ most notable success might have been a weeks-long game of cat and mouse with the Dutch-owned MV Cormo Express in the fall of 2003. Dubbed the “Sheep of Fools” by the world’s media, the Cormo spent months wandering the oceans off Africa after its cargo of 52,000 Australian sheep were rejected as diseased by Saudi authorities. The crew’s attempts to put their “scabby mouth” infected herds ashore in Puntland were repeatedly foiled. But the Taars’ success—material and otherwise—was not sitting well with the local populace. “Basically there were a lot of complaints from fishermen saying they were taking too much in fees, were too inefficient, and there were rumours of corruption,” says Hansen. (Somali forums on the Internet are filled with gossip about the “mansions” the family owns in Toronto. For the record, Abdiweli says he still has an apartment in Etobicoke.) The fact that the Taars’ coast guard operated out of the port of Bosasso, home to a rival clan, didn’t help matters. When their patron Yusuf was elected president of the national (read notional) Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in late 2004, things started to go rapidly downhill. The Taars didn’t get along with his replacement as Puntland president, Gen. Mohamud Muse Hersi, a fellow Canadian and former officer in Barre’s army who had become an Ottawa gas station owner. Hiff’s attentions were distracted by a more pressing job, leading TFG troops in battles against Islamic rebels, as well as forces from neighbouring Somaliland, a breakaway republic. With SomCan’s militia off fighting for their boss, the fishing licence money wasn’t flowing in the way it used to—to the displeasure of Hersi—and the company was having some internal problems as well. In March 2005, three of its men hijacked the Thai fishing trawler Sirichainava 12, threatening to kill the crew unless they were paid an $800,000 ransom. The trio, who had been aboard the vessel for close to three months to guard against pirate attacks, were apparently upset at not being paid. Hiff sailed out to confront them, but it was a passing U.S. Coast Guard cutter, the Munro, that intervened. With a British Navy attack helicopter hovering overhead, nine heavily armed Americans boarded the Thai ship and took the SomCan employees prisoner. They ended up in Bangkok, where they were given 10 years each on piracy charges—a sentence that didn’t exactly endear the Taars to the men’s many relatives in Bosasso. In response, Hersi cancelled SomCan’s five-year deal, and awarded the coast guard contract to a Saudi company, al-Hababi, which in turn appointed a member of the president’s sub-clan to run the operation. “He was a usual African president,” Abdiweli says bitterly, “just thinking about his family.” Relations between the Taars and Puntland’s leader steadily worsened, spilling over into open warfare in January 2006 when the SomCan militia got into a fierce gun battle with police and elements of the army outside Hiff’s Bosasso compound. Abdiweli claims that Hersi tried to “assassinate” his brother. Other sources suggest the firefight may have been a rather large mistake. Police, chasing a local thief, reportedly fired shots outside Hiff’s home, triggering a massive response from SomCan’s hired guns. Two police were wounded, and the fighting lasted for hours before clan elders cooled everyone down. The Taars’ ties to Yusuf—who resigned as TFG president in December—and Hiff’s military responsibilities kept the family at the forefront of Puntland politics, however. And when Hiff died in a car accident in February 2008, Hersi even paid tribute to him as a great patriot. But the enmity, at least from the other side, appears lasting. Abdiweli’s presidential run (Taar is one of 17 candidates, at least four of whom are Canadian) seems to be mostly about settling scores. “Hersi is the real pirate,” he says. “Every cent goes into his own pocket.” There is nothing quite like $100 million worth of stolen oil to focus people’s attention. Piracy has long been a problem off the Horn of Africa, but it wasn’t until the attacks rapidly escalated in 2008—culminating in the brazen seizure of the supertanker Sirius Star more than 700 km off the coast—that the international community seemed to take it seriously. But even the increased presence of the U.S., British, Spanish, Russian, Indian, Canadian, Malaysian and other world navies hasn’t been enough to halt the hijackings. The Gulf of Aden is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and there are simply too many vessels to protect. And for all of Taar’s bravado about taking the fight to the pirates, the roots of the crisis run awfully deep. The bandits enjoy widespread support along the coast, not just because the huge ransoms buoy the economy in a dirt-poor country, but because they are seen to be taking revenge for issues the world has long ignored. Ever since Somalia’s central government collapsed in 1991, rogue fishing fleets from Europe, Arabia, and the Far East have helped themselves to whatever they can pull out of the seas off the Horn. At one point in 2005, according to the High Seas Task Force, a body of international fisheries ministries, there were more than 800 foreign ships harvesting off the Somali coast. And their purloined catch is valued at US$450 million a year—more than the country receives in international aid. “They fish with impunity,” Mohamed Waldo, a long-time player in Somali politics and consultant for several aid organizations, says from his Nairobi office. “It is the mother of all piracies in Somalia.” Since the December 2004 tsunami, inshore stocks have plummeted, something that the public attributes to overfishing, rather than the natural disaster. Local fishermen are afraid to put further out to sea lest they be mistaken for pirates, says Waldo. And the world’s navies are generally perceived to be in the business of protecting foreign trawlers, rather than battling the hijackers. This cabbie hunts pirates April 13, 2009 Then there is the growing sophistication—and perhaps internationalization—of the pirates, gangs that are now far better armed and outfitted than Taar’s men. Puntland’s first effort to create a coast guard came in 2000, when the government hired a British firm, Hart Security, to train and equip a marine patrol force. The company brought in a 65-foot trawler, converted an old Bosasso hotel into barracks, and recruited 70 militiamen, carefully balancing out the clans. In those days, clamping down on illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste was a more pressing concern, says the company chairman, Lord Richard Westbury, a former Special Air Services officer. Hart’s only significant encounter with the pirates came in 2000 when a cargo vessel, the Mad Express, broke down off the town of Bargaal and was hijacked. Westbury dispatched two groups of men—one to rescue the crew being held on shore, and the other to liberate the vessel. They met little resistance. “Basically, the pirates jumped off the ship. One injured his ankle,” he recalls from his Cyprus headquarters. “There was nothing sophisticated about them at all. They certainly had no skills to operate in the way they are currently operating.” Hart pulled out of Puntland during the 2001 civil war, when the fighting shut down operations, and its local crew began to choose sides. But the company, like many other private security firms, is now doing a booming business selling its expertise and protection services to ships transiting the region. For the last few months, Westbury’s men have been operating off the coast “on a daily basis,” he says. “You aren’t going to get a bigger problem. It can’t escalate further.”He cites a recent passage when Hart employees helped a vessel stave off 20 pirate boats over a four-hour period through a combination of evasive manoeuvres, and display—but not use—of arms. As for what happened to his former employees—rigorously drilled in small boat interception and boarding techniques—his lordship has a compelling theory. “I think inevitably that there are people we trained who now are involved in piracy,” he says. “It wouldn’t surprise me at all.” It stands to reason that some of SomCan’s original employees have also found new and more lucrative careers. (Last fall, Fred Parle, an Irish sailor who was held hostage for 47 days, told Maclean’s that his captors boasted of their coast guard past.) But Abdiweli Ali Taar says any turncoats are “British-trained,” and definitely not his men. “They are for the security of the country,” he says. “They are willing to fight.” He points with pride to the fact that his enemy Hersi reached out to him this past summer, begging SomCan to again take over the job of patrolling Puntland’s shores. (The president cancelled al-Hababi’s contract in February 2008, after its forces refused a direct order to liberate the Svitzer Korsakov, the tugboat Parle was held upon.) The new contract is “unbreakable,” boasts Taar. “He needed a big-time job so he came to us.” And he echoes a recent promise by Hersi to take the fight to the ground, establishing military bases around Puntland to exert government order on pirate strongholds like the port of Eyl. All that stands in the way of his coast guard cleaning up the pirate problem is lack of money—lots of money. Right now, SomCan is footing the bill for the entire operation, some US$210,000 a month. The reality in Puntland is that civil strife, hyper-inflation and an epidemic of counterfeiting have left authorities virtually bankrupt. Most police and soldiers haven’t been paid their paltry $30-a-month salaries for more than half a year. The backbone of the pirate crews are now the people who are supposed to be stopping them. And for all his belligerence about freeing the ships, Taar concedes that force alone isn’t likely to halt the hijackings. “These people are not criminals. They are only looking for money. If you create jobs for them, they will get out of the business. I guarantee it.” At the recent meetings in Kenya, Taar was hoping to raise $30 million from international donors, but received only vague promises. “I told the UN, look, if you want to help Somalia, the pirates are peanuts compared to the problems we have,” says Taar. “Instead of spending millions to patrol our waters, use the money to help stabilize our institutions.” Still, he holds out hope that a change of president—perhaps him, perhaps one of the more heavily favoured candidates—will give the world confidence in Puntland, and provide the backing that would allow the government to actually start governing. And then, when the pirates are all gone, maybe he can come back home. “I miss my Toronto,” he says. “I really miss it.” Pages: 1 2 3 Detailed Paper on Puntland Piracy http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Africa/1008piracysomalia.pdf

Exports of charcoal from the port of Kismayu in southern Somalia

Exports of charcoal from the port of Kismayu in southern Somalia generate at least $15 million a year in revenues for Al Shabaab militants, according to a report by a UN monitoring group. Somalia’s black gold,” charged in its report last July that the transitional government is “complicit” in the charcoal trade that serves as one of Al Shabaab’s largest sources of income. “Most commercial motor vessels transporting goods to the port of Mogadishu discharge only part of their cargo in order to deliver the remainder to [Shabaab-controlled] Kismayu and collect charcoal destined to [Arab Gulf] countries — with the full knowledge of the Mogadishu port authority,” the monitoring group said. Many Somali traders prefer to discharge their cargo at Kismayu rather than at Mogadishu because of “the corrupt and predatory practices of the Transitional Federal Government,” the monitors added. Their report notes as an example that Mogadishu port authorities charge an import duty of $1,300 on a mid-size vessel, while the Shabaab overseers at Kismayu charge only $200. About 10,000 bags of smuggled sugar may be entering Kenya from Somalia on a daily basis, the monitors said in July. Sugar imported as contraband from Somalia is sold in Kenya at lower prices than sugar produced in Kenya, the report found. As of last April, a 50-kilogramme sack of Kenyan sugar was selling at Ksh4,800 to Ksh4,900 ($58-$60), while sugar smuggled from Kismayu was being sold in Garissa for Ksh4,350 to Ksh4,450 ($53-$55). More than sugar is sometimes transported in those sacks of contraband. “The Kenyan authorities have also discovered light weapons and ammunition concealed in some sugar consignments,” the monitoring report noted. It is not known whether Kenya’s military operation in Somalia, which commenced after the monitoring report was issued, has significantly disrupted sugar-smuggling rings. Al Shabaab’s charcoal-sugar trade cycle “is dominated by networks of prominent Somali businessmen operating mainly between Somalia and the Gulf Co-operation Council countries, notably Dubai,” the monitors said. “Bank accounts in the Gulf States where the profits of this trade are deposited can be used to launder voluntary contributions to Al Shabaab through fraudulent invoicing, overvaluing of import proceeds and undervaluing of exports.” Charcoal produced in southern Somalia comes mainly from acacia forests in riverine zones between the Juba and Shabelle rivers, the report said. Massive deforestation has occurred in those areas as a result. And that in turn has contributed to the food insecurity that rose to famine levels in parts of Somalia last year, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the Security Council. In London, Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, who attended the Lancaster House conference on Somalia on Thursday, urged the international community to help eliminate Al-Shabaab and Al-Qeada through air raids. “We welcome targeted air strikes against Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab,” said the premier at the convention that attracted representatives from over 50 countries and international organisations.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Modern Piracy: A Reference Handbook Puntland President involvent in Piracy:

Modern Piracy: A Reference Handbook By David F. Marley Puntland President involvent in Piracy: The Pirates of Somalia: Inside Their Hidden World By Jay Bahadur The Emergence and Impacts of Islamic Radicalists By Girma Yohannes Iyassu Menelik Piracy Off the Horn of Africa By Lauren Ploch Piracy and armed robbery at sea: the legal framework for counter-piracy ... By Robin Geiss, Anna Petrig http://books.google.ca/books?id=tDIywglWk5UC&pg=PA173&dq=faroole&hl=en&sa=X&ei=I0NIT-WaH8WhiQKbsqzbDQ&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=faroole&f=false briefing paper Piracy in Somalia Threatening global trade, feeding local wars Roger Middleton Africa Programme | October 2008 | AFP BP 08/02 Summary points Piracy off the coast of Somalia has more than doubled in 2008; so far over 60 ships have been attacked. Pirates are regularly demanding and receiving million-dollar ransom payments and are becoming more aggressive and assertive. The international community must be aware of the danger that Somali pirates could become agents of international terrorist networks. Already money from ransoms is helping to pay for the war in Somalia, including funds to the US terror-listed Al- Shabaab. The high level of piracy is making aid deliveries to drought-stricken Somalia ever more difficult and costly. The World Food Programme has already been forced to temporarily suspend food deliveries. Canada is now escorting WFP deliveries but there are no plans in place to replace their escort when it finishes later this year. The danger and cost of piracy (insurance premiums for the Gulf of Aden have increased tenfold) mean that shipping could be forced to avoid the Gulf of Aden/Suez Canal and divert around the Cape of Good Hope. This would add considerably to the costs of manufactured goods and oil from Asia and the Middle East. At a time of high inflationary pressures, this should be of grave concern. Piracy could cause a major environmental disaster in the Gulf of Aden if a tanker is sunk or run aground or set on fire. The use of ever more powerful weaponry makes this increasingly likely. There are a number of options for the international community but ignoring the problem is not one of them. It must ensure that WFP deliveries are protected and that gaps in supply do not occur. Piracy1 off the coast of Somalia is growing at an alarming rate and threatens to drastically disrupt international trade. It provides funds that feed the vicious war in Somalia and could potentially become a weapon of international terrorism or a cause of environmental disaster. For long piracy has been a problem mostly associated with the Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia, but it is now a growing issue for fragile African states. Up to 25 September 2008, 61 actual and attempted hijacks had been recorded by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB).2 In the last week of August 2008 alone four vessels were captured, and the year has seen Somali piracy rise up the news agenda, propelled by the capture of the Luxury yacht Le Ponant3 and the kidnap of a German couple who had been sailing their yacht through the Gulf of Aden. Since the end of 2007 piracy activity has shifted away from the Mogadishu port area and into the Gulf of Aden. The actual number of attacks could well be higher: not all incidents will have been reported as there is much illegal activity in Somali waters, and the official statistics do not measure the impact of piracy on Somali coastal trade. Some 16,000 ships a year pass through the Gulf of Aden, carrying oil from the Middle East and goods from Asia to Europe and North America. So one of the most important trade routes in the world is now threatened by the chronic instability in Somalia. Piracy has been a problem in Somali waters for at least ten years. However, the number of attempted and successful attacks has risen over the last three years (see Figure 1). The only period during which piracy virtually vanished around Somalia was during the six months of rule by the Islamic Courts Union in the second half of 2006. This indicates that a functioning government in Somalia is capable of controlling piracy. After the removal of the courts piracy re-emerged.With little functioning government, long, isolated, sandy beaches and a population that is both desperate and used to war, Somalia is a perfect environment for piracy to thrive. Piracy in Somalia ‘ Piracy consists of any of the following acts: (a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed: i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft; ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State; (b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft; (c) any act inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in sub-paragraph (a) or (b). Piracy is considered to occur in international waters while Armed Robbery at Sea occurs in territorial waters or in port. 2 In their reports the ICC IMB split waters around Somalia into ‘Somalia’ and ‘Gulf of Aden’. This recognizes the overlap with Yemen in the Gulf of Aden. It is possible, however, to speak of Somali piracy as encompassing both areas; some activity in the Gulf of Aden may originate from Yemen and Yemenis but the overwhelming majority is Somali-run and -inspired. ICC IMB latest statistics available at www.icc-ccs.org. 3 ‘Somali pirates seize French yacht, 4 April 2008’, BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7331290.stm Piracy around Somalia How the pirates operate Pirates operate using small skiffs with powerful outboard engines that can be pulled up onto the beach. These boats are fast and manoeuvrable but they lack the range necessary for richer pickings. Pirates now regularly use ‘mother ships’ to increase their range. The IMB recently put out a warning identifying potential mother ships.4 These are generally fishing trawlers that the pirates capture closer to shore and then use as staging posts for attacks further out to sea. Reports from a Yemeni fishing vessel that appears to have been used as a mother ship indicate that the pirates patrolled the entrance to the Gulf of Aden in the captured vessel and then deserted it in their skiffs once a suitable target was spotted.5 The use of mother ships helps to explain how pirates have managed to increase their range so dramatically; the old warning to stay at least 50 nautical miles from the coast has now been replaced by warnings to stay at least 200 nautical miles away.6 It is generally thought that from sighting pirates to being boarded takes approximately fifteen minutes. Such a short space of time helps to explain why even with international patrols in the area ships are still captured. To prevent an attack a naval vessel would need to be close and have a helicopter ready to go at moment’s notice. This is not to say that prevention is impossible: the USS Peleliu was able to scare pirates away from the Gem of Kilakari on 8 August 2008 after launching helicopters,7 but the Peleliu was only ten miles away and able to respond quickly. In other circumstances captains must take whatever evasive action they can. In one instance a tugboat put itself into a high-speed spin and continued until the attackers gave up and left. Other less nauseous ways of preventing boarding include sonic cannon and water guns. Sonic cannon can only point in one direction, however, so an attack by more than one skiff renders them ineffective. The other serious complaint about using non-lethal weapons to deter pirates is the lack of protection they offer to crew members, who become sitting targets for pirates with automatic weapons and rocket launchers while operating the device. It is possible to identify the factors that make a ship more vulnerable: low sides, low speed, low crew numbers and lack of adequate watch-keeping. Pirates have consistently targeted ships with low sides (including Le Ponant and the Danica White) as these are easier to board from their own low skiffs. At present it seems that scaling the high sides of large oil tankers is beyond their capabilities. It should be pointed out that this did not prevent them from taking speculative pot shots at the Japanese tanker MV Takayama with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).8 Low speeds also make a vessel more vulnerable; the pirates’ small vessels can move fast and sluggish transport tankers and pleasure yachts will have difficulty evading determined attackers. There is little that a ship-owner with a slow, low-sided ship can do in such circumstances. But some problems can be ameliorated. Low crew numbers have become increasingly common as higher insurance premiums and fuel costs cut into ship-owner’s margins. Without a full complement of crew it is impossible to maintain a sufficient watch in dangerous waters, making evasive measures less effective. Where the pirates originate Puntland, the semi-autonomous region in the northeast of the country, appears to be the base for most pirates in Somalia. A small number of acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden may originate in Yemen but most illegal activity originating there is connected to fishing and 4 IMB, Pictures of suspected pirate mother vessels, 13 August 2008. http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/piracy_al.php?newsid=20, accessed 21 August 2008. 5 Sa’eed Al-Batati, ‘The shadow of death in the Arabian Sea’, Yemen Times, available at: http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=1169&p=report&a=2, accessed 21 August 2008. 6 IMB, http://www.icc-ccs.org/prc/piracyreport.php. 7 ‘U.S. Navy foils pirate attack on ship’, Chicago Tribune, 9 August 2008. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-pirates_wor_09aug09,0,6414894.story. 8 Johan Lillkung, ‘They opened fire with machine guns and rockets’, The Observer. 27 April 2008. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/27/somalia. protecting fishing grounds. Traditionally, most pirates, including the infamous Afweyne, come from Harardheere (Xaradheere) and Hobyo in Central Somalia – although Afweyne is reportedly unlikely to be involved in current operations. The Mayor of Eyl has asserted that ‘the pirates who hijacked the ships are the same ones who received ransom payments before’.9 This would support other reports that the pirates are not engaged only in one-off attacks but are in the business for the long term. The fact that the pirates originate from Puntland is significant as this is also the home region of President Abdullahi Yusuf. As one expert said, ‘money will go to Yusuf as a gesture of goodwill to a regional leader’10 – so even if the higher echelons of Somali government and clan structure are not directly involved in organizing piracy, they probably do benefit. Puntland is one of the poorest areas of Somalia, so the financial attraction of piracy is strong. Somalia’s fishing industry has collapsed in the last fifteen years and its waters are being heavily fished by European, Asian and African ships.11 Some pirates have claimed that they are involved in protecting Somalia’s natural resources and that ransom payments should be viewed as legitimate taxation. Indeed the pirates captured by France following the Le Ponant incident had a ‘manual of good conduct’.12 In any case, in a region where legitimate business is difficult, where drought means agriculture is nothing more than subsistence farming, and instability and violence make death a very real prospect, the dangers of engaging in piracy must be weighed against the potentially massive returns. (An unsubstantiated rumour offers a further hint as to the emergence of piracy in Somalia and illustrates how good intentions can backfire. In the 1990s a private security firm had a contract to establish coastguard facilities. The exercise fizzled out but some analysts now trace the nautical skills of the pirates to that experiment and anecdotal evidence suggests that equipment meant for the coastguard has been used in piracy expeditions. Captured sailors have also reported that pirates who held them claimed to have been former coastguards – see Box 1.) The small village of Eyl and others right up to the tip of Somalia have played host to many recently hijacked ships. The pirates have generally taken captured vessels to small ports like Eyl and held themthere until ransom has been paid. The notable exception to this rule was the case of Jürgen K. and Sabine M., the German yachters taken into the mountains13 and held on land for 41 days until they were released on 9 August following a ransom payment believed to be between half-a-million and one million dollars.14 Clearly, the difference here was that the vessel itself held no value but the two sailors did. Ransoms If Somalia provides the perfect environment for piracy, it is the payment of massive ransoms that provides the motivation. A few years ago ransoms were in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars range. So far in 2008 they have hovered between half-a-million and two million dollars, although recent reports indicate that demands have again shot up; $3.5 million has been demanded for the release of the MV Stella Maris which has been held since 20 July.15 Total ransom payments for 2008 probably lie in the range of US$18–30 million. Inflation of ransom demands makes this an ever more lucrative business. Shipping firms, and sometimes governments, are prepared to pay these sums since they are relatively small compared with the value of a ship, let alone the life of crew members. The international Piracy in Somalia page 5 www.chathamhouse.org.uk 9 ‘Somalia: pirates are stronger than us: Eyl Mayor’, Garoweonline. 10 Interview with author, August 2008. 11 Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. 4th Chatham House Update and Stakeholder Consultation Meeting – Report, Chatham House, April 2008. Available at http://www.illegal-fishing.info/item_single.php?item=event&item_id=136&approach_id=8. 12 Thierry Leveque, ‘Somali pirates tell French police of ‘sea militia’, Reuters. 17 April 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL17838540. 13 ’Uns geht es immer schlechter’, Der Spiegel, 22 July 2008. 14 ‘Somali pirates free two Germans’, BBC, 9 August 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7551298.stm. 15 Daniel Wallis, ‘Somali pirates want $8 mln to free three ships’, Reuters, 2 September 2008. shipping association BIMCO has said that the payment of ransoms has probably exacerbated the situation and would prefer the industry not to pay, but it recognizes that there is little alternative as long as any sort of rescue or intervention is unlikely. As pirates become more brazen, it seems unlikely that shipping firms will be prepared to risk the loss of life and equipment for the greater good. New trends The most noticeable change in the past year has been the shift in the main area of activity. Whereas in 2007 a lot of piracy was focused on Southern Somalia and Mogadishu port where, according to the UNmonitoring group, port officials helped facilitate several attacks,16 in 2008 the vast majority of attacks have taken place in the Gulf of Aden. This makes sense since, as noted above, the Gulf is a major shipping route with around 16,000 vessels passing through each year and offers much richer pickings than Mogadishu. The funnel-like shape of the Gulf also means that shipping is easier to locate and hunt down than in the sea off Somalia’s southern coast. As will be discussed below, this shift in focus should be of great concern to the international community. The pirates have improved their equipment and now use GPS systems and satellite phones. It is also likely that they are plugged into an international network that feeds information from ports in the Gulf, Europe and Asia back to Somalia. All this, coupled with their use of mother ships, now gives them a greater ability to find and capture potential targets. Pirates are no longer simply opportunists; their operations are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are likely to continue developing in this direction if responses do not change. Establishing how organized the piracy gangs are is difficult but the growth in activity in 2008 seems to indicate that this is becoming an increasingly professional operation. Some reports say numbers of pirates have increased from the hundreds to the thousands. 17 Worryingly, it appears that pirates are becoming more aggressive; East Africa analysts report that pirates are using MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defence Systems) in territorial waters and several recent reports indicate that they have begun to use RPGs during their attacks.18 In the past their method of attack was limited to firing automatic weapons as they approached a vessel, and the use of grenade launchers introduces a much greater risk of loss of life and damage to property. The firing of RPGs at tankers (such as at the Takayama) should be a reason for grave concern, particularly because of the risk of fire. In general captured crew are well treated, although the enormous psychological strain should not be underestimated, but two examples demonstrate that there is nothing romantic about being held by pirates. The two German yachters referred to earlier reported that they had been beaten,19 and crew aboard the Lehmann Timber reported that they lacked food and water and that their captors were becoming increasingly erratic as their captivity dragged on.20 The first reported fatality was reported by the Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) on 22 August 2008 after pirates had boarded a palm oil tanker three days earlier.21 If pirates are becoming more ruthless it is likely to be only a matter of time before more people are killed. And operating in an area full of rich pickings and with enormous rewards on offer seems likely to point to a trajectory of increasing ruthlessness. Piracy in Somalia page 6 www.chathamhouse.org.uk 16 Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia pursuant to Security Council resolution 1766 (2007). 24 April 2008. http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N08/290/68/PDF/N0829068.pdf?OpenElement. 17 ‘Somalia gunmen use piracy ransoms to fund insurgency’, Reuters, 25 August 2008. 18 ‘Pirates fire rockets at French boat far off Somalia’, Reuters, 14 September 2008. http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnLE339233.html. 19 ‘Somali pirates free two Germans’, BBC (see note 14 above). 20 ‘Fears grow for crew seized by Somali pirates’, Russia Today, 16 June 2008. http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/26220. 21 Soraya Permatasari, ‘MISC says there’s “casualty” among crew of hijacked tanker ship’, 22 August 2008. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601116&sid=aljFzZy9XIOs&refer=africa; and ‘Filipino sailor dies on hijacked tanker‘,The Star Online, 26 August 2008. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/8/26/nation/20080826121000&sec=nation. Piracy in Somalia page 7 www.chathamhouse.org.uk The international response The international community has made several attempts to deal with the issue of piracy around Somalia. The most successful has been escorts for World Food Programme ships which had been unable to enter Somali waters until France, Denmark, the Netherlands and most recently Canada agreed to provide naval escorts from November 2007 to June 2008.22 A more general approach has focused on Combined Taskforce 150 (CTF150), a coalition naval taskforce covering the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Box 1: A victim’s story Captain Darch was the skipper of the Svitzer Korsakov when it was boarded by pirates on 1 February 2008. He and his five crew mates were held for 47 days, until 18 March. At about 3pm on Friday 1 February, seventy miles north of Cape Gwardafuy, I was alerted by a shout. On our starboard side were five pirates in a six-metre white plastic boat powered by 48hp Yamaha engines. I thrashed the tug to the left, then right, forcing them to sheer away. This cat and mouse game continued until another boat with four more approached. I knew we couldn’t avoid them so I stopped our engine. The pirates next attempted to winch their boats to ours but only succeeded in dumping their spare ammunition into the sea. Later the first onto to the bridge said; ‘I am Andrew and speak English. This is Omar, our Captain. Do as you are told.’ On the orders of ‘Capt. Omar’ we moved south. By late Sunday we arrived in Eyl where15 more pirates boarded our ship. From then on around twenty were always aboard, including their personal Mullah. I convinced Omar to let us go north to Gabbac, a more sheltered spot. One pirate called Ahmed told us he had been in the coastguard, and only Ahmed and one or two others who had also been coastguards understood our engines. From then on we were trailed by a US warship and smaller Somali boats resupplied us. The pirates, armed with AK47s, spent every day chewing khat. We survived on cigarettes, water, goat, camel’s milk and chapattis. Our relationship with the pirates was mostly amicable except for one incident. Omar kept saying ‘go on – go on’ but the anchorage wasn’t safe. He hit me across the back of my head. I said we wouldn’t go anywhere if he hit me again and he didn’t. Later another man called Omar joined us. He said he was there to make sure we were looked after. During the ordeal, I lost weight but was never really hungry. Genuinely, I think they just needed the money. Ten days after our capture the Chief Engineer – Fred – and I hatched a plan. I tried to get a coded message to the Americans via Copenhagen. At midnight on the 11th we blacked out the ship and blockaded ourselves into the ballast tank.We listened for the attack, but all we could hear was the Somalis trying to get at us. At five in the afternoon we tried to give ourselves up but they had bolted us in. We thumped on the door and they let us out at seven. After this we lost all our privileges and they followed us everywhere. Sometimes, as time dragged on, the younger pirates suggested killing the Russians and sinking the boat. They thought Fred and I were more valuable. Every day we talked about the ransom. Initially they asked for $2.5 million but Fred convinced them the company would never give that much. During the negotiations one time the new interpreter (Geli), a schoolteacher, said: ‘Look, here this is your last chance – give us the money in three days or the crew will be shot, you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.’ The negotiations were handled by Control Risks who have experience at that. They later tried $900,000 but eventually settled for $678,000. The money was assembled as cash in Dubai where they hoped a Somali businessman would handle the delivery for them, but no one would. In the end the money came on a boat. It came alongside with the crew hidden. Our pirates went over and moved the money across. Now the pirates had the boat, the crew and the money! All night the pirates divided the money between themselves. Most left in the morning but Omar and the schoolteacher said it wasn’t safe for them to go ashore here, so we dropped them further north. Next day we met up with the warship. I asked why they didn’t attack; one guy said they hadn’t received the message; another said: ‘Even if we had received it we’d need an order from higher up to do anything.’ We were held for 47 days. We went from Oman to Dubai, where we met our wives. I said it was the trip to end all trips but I’ve been on a few since then. Source: Interview with the author, 15 September 2008. 22 WFP, Where we work – Somalia. http://www.wfp.org/country_brief/indexcountry.asp?country=706. www.chathamhouse.org.uk page 8 Piracy in Somalia Arabian Sea, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. CTF150’s primary responsibility is to assist in the ‘war on terror’, so piracy is lower on their list of priorities. However some of the roughly fifteen ships making up CTF150 have been involved in deterring pirate attacks. To strengthen the hand of international naval forces, on 2 June 2008 the UN Security Council passed the US/France-sponsored resolution 1816 that gives foreign warships the right to enter Somali waters ‘for the purposes of repressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea’ by ‘all necessary means’.23 Themost recent initiative involves the establishment of a ‘Maritime Security Patrol Area’ (MSPA) which coalition navies will patrol. The hope is that shipping will stay in these zones and hence be in range ofmilitary assistance if they are threatened. To date these measures do not seem to have had much impact, although it is too early to comment on the efficacy of the MSPA. The hijack of two Malaysian tankers prompted Malaysia to send three ships to the Gulf of Aden in September 2008; however, these will only have responsibility for escorting MISC ships.24 In recent years India has begun to take a greater interest in the African side of the Indian Ocean Rim for a number of reasons including a desire to compete with China, but the danger of piracy is also of concern.25 The Indian navy has indicated a willingness to send support to the Gulf of Aden.26 Indeed it has gone so far as to remind the government that it is ready to help ships carrying Indian nationals. However, analysts assert that the Indian government is reluctant to involve itself with the internal affairs of another country.27 To date France is the country that has taken the most robust stand against piracy off Somalia. Following the ransom payment and the release of Le Ponant, French naval special forces tracked down and arrested six pirates who are now awaiting trial in France. Again, when a French pleasure yacht was captured on 2 September, President Sarkozy authorized a successful assault on the boat that rescued the sailors, killed one pirate and captured the rest.28 Although French action is robust, it is unlikely to act as a deterrent for future attacks since the potential rewards of piracy still far outweigh the potential risks. So far the two operations have not resulted in the death of a hostage but that is a danger that must be considered before future operations are launched. Resources concentrated on preventing piracywill produce greater benefits than those used on dramatic rescues. The EU has established a mission under the ESDP (European Security and Defence Policy) to provide a coordination cell (EU NAVCO) for the fight against piracy.29 Coordination of the different naval and air assets in the region could help to improve the efficacy of the fight against piracy.However, at present this cell consists of Commander Andres Breijo-Claur, seconded from the Spanish navy, and only four others, who will receive only €60,000 to facilitate theirwork.While it is to bewelcomed that the EUis taking some action, and the difficulty in organizing common defence action is recognized, this effortmay well turn out to bemore symbolic than practical. The area of coordination is one in which the EU could provide very useful assistance if the cell is properly staffed and financed. Why it matters to the international community There are deeper reasons why the international community needs to take heed of this problem than simple law enforcement. They can be divided into four areas: what piracy does to Somalia; what it does to international trade, especially oil; the danger to the environment; the potential terrorist threat. 23 UN SC Resolution 1816. http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,UNSC,,SOM,,48464c622,0.html. 24 ‘Egyptian ship hijacked near Somalia’, AP, 5 September 2008. 25 Alex Vines and Bereni Oruitemeka, India’s Engagement with the African Indian Ocean Rim States. Chatham House Africa Programme Paper 08/01, 2008. http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/research/africa/papers/view/-/id/607/. 26 ‘India, Yemen Act to Combat Pirates’, Sail-World, 28 August 2008. 27 Interview with author, 22 September 2008. 28 Charles Bremner, ‘French special forces seize pirates in operation to free yacht hostages’, The Times, 17 September 2008. 29 Official Journal of the European Union L 252/39, 20 September 2008. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/JOIndex.do. What piracy does to Somalia The danger of Somali waters in late 2007 forced the WFP to suspend food deliveries by sea (delivery by land is just as risky and is impractical for transporting large quantities of food aid). According to the WFP, Somalia will require at least 185,000 tonnes of food aid in 2008. This was temporarily solved by the naval escorts for WFP vessels mentioned above. TheWFP was forced to stop for two months when the Netherlands completed its stint until Canada announced that the HMCS Ville de Québec would escort WFP deliveries. Without the naval escorts and the regular delivery of food aid, Somalia’s food stocks were seriously threatened. In a country without a functioning central government that is suffering fromdrought and war, and with over a million internally displaced people,30 imported food aid is essential. The uncertainty surrounding escorts for WFP ships needs to end and escorts should be pledged in advance so that dangerous gaps in food delivery can be avoided. If the international community does only one thing, then ensuring the safe delivery of food aid should be the priority. Somalia is one of the most dangerous and violent places in the world. Arms are freely available throughout the country and there are almost daily reports of explosions, murders, skirmishes, battles and kidnappings across the country. While pirates themselves keep the majority of the funds they generate, a significant amount is passed on to important locals, some of whom are involved in the ongoing war. These regular injections of cash undoubtedly help to finance the war. Some reports31 link piracy money to the US terror-listed Al-Shabaab, which emerged as a youth militia during the rule of the Islamic Courts and is now fighting an insurgency against Ethiopian and government troops. Eradicating piracy will not stop the war, but it may reduce the money available for arms purchases. The lack of maritime security also allows a busy people- and arms-smuggling trade to flourish and encourages illegal fishing in Somali waters. Greater efforts by the international community to combat piracy should have a positive impact in these areas as well. What piracy does to international trade Clearly a company whose cargo is prevented from reaching its destination on time will lose money. Add to this the cost of paying ransoms and already the damaging economic effect of Somali piracy can be seen. The consequences are not limited only to companies whose vessels are hijacked; of wider concern is the growth of insurance premiums for ships that need to pass through the Gulf of Aden. The danger means that war risk insurance premiums must now be paid: premiums are reported to have risen tenfold in a year.32 If the cost of extra insurance becomes prohibitive, or the danger simply too great, shipping companiesmay avoid the Gulf of Aden and take the long route to Europe and North America around the Cape of Good Hope. Indeed this option is mentioned by shipping industry insiders as a very real possibility. The extra weeks of travel and fuel consumption would add considerably to the cost of transporting goods. At a time when the price of oil is a major concern, anything that could contribute to a further rise in prices must be considered very serious indeed. Potential environmental catastrophe Large oil tankers pass through the Gulf of Aden and the danger exists that a pirate attack could cause amajor oil spill in what is a very sensitive and important ecosystem. During the attack on the Takayama the ship’s fuel tanks were penetrated and oil spilled into the sea. The consequences of amore sustained attack could bemuchworse.As pirates become bolder and use ever more powerful weaponry a tanker could be set on fire, sunk or forced ashore, any of which could result in an environmental catastrophe that would devastate marine and bird life for years to come. The pirates’ aim is to extort ransom payments and to date that has been their main focus; however, the possibility that they could destroy shipping is very real. www.chathamhouse.org.uk page 9 Piracy in Somalia 30 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Internal Displacement – Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2007, April 2008. http://www.internal-displacement.org/. 31 ‘Somalia gunmen’, Reuters, 25 August 2008 (see note 17 above). 32 Miles Costello, ‘Shipping insurance costs soar with piracy surge off Somalia’, The Times, 11 September 2008. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article4727372.ece. Possible co-opting by international terrorist networks The otherworst-case scenario is that pirates become agents of international terrorism. It should be emphasized that to date there is no firmevidence of this happening.However, in a region that saw the attacks on the USS Cole, seaborne terrorism needs to be taken very seriously. For example, a large ship sunk in the approach to the Suez Canal would have a devastating impact on international trade. Terrorism at sea could take many forms: direct attacks on naval or commercial shipping, such as the 6 October 2002 attack on theMV Limburg,33hostages frompleasure boats being used as bargaining chips for terrorists or high-profile victims of an atrocity, and hijacked ships being used as floating weapons. Terrorist networks could also use the financial returns of piracy to fund their activities around the world. The potentially massive consequences of this scenario must be taken into account along with the more likely scenario that piracy money is being routed to Al-Shabaab.34 As has been seen over the last year, pirates in Somalia have become ever more dangerous, but it is impossible to tell what will happen next. It is best to act to prevent the worst-case scenarios rather than try to solve the problem once it has escalated. Options for the international community Although the international community must recognize that only a political solution in Somalia offers a long-term solution to the issue of piracy, it is also crucial to understand that measures can be taken to improve the situation while efforts continue towards a political settlement. Set out below are a number of options that could be considered by the international community, the African Union and Somalia’s neighbours to reduce the risks of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. It may be that elements fromeach option could be adopted. 1. Organize shipping into a safe lane. At the end of August 2008 coalition naval forces in the Gulf of Aden announced that they had established a ‘Maritime Security Patrol Area’ (MSPA) which would be patrolled by coalition warships and aircraft. Following a standard route shouldmake it easier for international forces in the area to monitor shipping and respond to distress calls. Problems with this approach arise if the international presence is too light. Shipping organized in a lane would potentially offer an easier target for pirates and, as one senior naval commander explained, ‘the pirates will just change their tactics’. The approach will also fail to reduce the danger for ships steaming north-south rather than east-west. However, this move is to be welcomed. The international community should recognize that even if attacks decrease the threat will not have disappeared, and it will need to remain vigilant until Somalia has a full political settlement. 2. Provide a coastguard for Somalia. In the absence of a reliable and long-term government of Somalia it is unlikely that the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has the capacity to operate effective coastguard facilities. An effective option may be to create an internationally sanctioned and administered coastguard for Somalia. This could be run by the UN or African Union and established with external funds. The cost of running a coastguard could be met, at least in part, from collecting fishing dues and import revenue. The money and the force could be held in trust for Somalia. Clearly lessons can be learned from the previous experience of private military companies trying to provide maritime security (see Box 2); hence this option would need to be firmly under the control of an international body. 3. A large naval presence A proposal popular for its simplicity and straightforwardness is for the deployment of amuch largermultinational naval force in the Gulf of Aden and along the Somali coast with a specific mandate to combat piracy. At present the 12–15 ships of Combined Taskforce 150 are primarily involved in the war on terror and combating piracy is an ancillary concern. A much larger dedicated fleet would be likely to reduce the incidence of piracy but is almost certainly prohibitively expensive. It seems more realistic www.chathamhouse.org.uk page 10 Piracy in Somalia 33 ‘Yemen ship attack “was terrorism”’, BBC,13 October 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2324431.stm. 34 ‘Somalia gunmen’, Reuters, 25 August 2008 (see note 18 above). to hope for some augmentation of the current force to patrol the MSPA and perhaps the ongoing discussions in Europe and India will produce such a result. 4. Pay no ransoms This option has been suggested by the shipping industry. Certainly it seems likely that if ransompayments stopped, the incentives to be involved in piracy would decrease. Two problems are evident here. The first is that there is no reason why pirates would not change their tactics and, copying examples fromIndonesia and elsewhere, begin to see the value not in ransom but in capturing ships and creating phantom ships, where a stolen ship is re-registered and used to carry new cargoes which are then stolen,35 or simply targeting vessels to steal their cargo. The second problem is of course that non-payment could very well include the loss of life. It seems unlikely that any shipping company wants to be the first to refuse to pay when the price could be so high. However, a concerted effort to deflate prices (there is no need to pay exactly what is demanded) could have a positive impact. 5. Do nothing Accepting that the only real solution lies in a political solution inside Somalia, the international community could calculate that some forty ships captured out of www.chathamhouse.org.uk page 11 Piracy in Somalia Box 2: Private security and Somali piracy Private security firms have a long history of involvement in attempting to combat Somali piracy. To date, however, none have been very effective and in the majority of cases it is hard to see that anything at all was achieved. Secopex This French private security firm signed an agreement in May 2008 with TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf to provide maritime security for Somalia and a bodyguard for the president. The TFG insists that the deal will be paid for by the international community, but so far the $50–200 million needed has not been forthcoming. Topcat In November 2005 the TFG signed a $50 million or $55 million contract with the US security firm Topcat to target ‘mother ships’ being used by Somali pirates. The chief executive of Topcat told the BBC, ’We will end the piracy very quickly; there is no question about that’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4471536.stm). Topcat’s deployment was blocked by the US State Department, which judged that it would breach the arms embargo on Somalia. Al-Habiibi Marine Service This Saudi-based company was appointed by the government of Puntland in December 2005. However its employees were unable to take up their positions in Somalia. SOMCAN – Somali Canadian Coastguard SOMCAN held a contract from the government of Puntland from 2002 to 2005 to provide coastguard facilities for Puntland. Its effectiveness was called into question as three of the company’s employees were sentenced to ten years in jail in Thailand for piracy, although they claimed to have been protecting a Thai fishing boat. Puntland International Development Corporation PIDC was contracted in 2000 by the government of Puntland to combat piracy. It subcontracted the work to Hart Security. HART Security Hart undertook to provide training for a 70-man maritime force in Puntland from November 1999. A vessel was secured and arms were procured through local arms markets. Hart staff took up residence in Somalia. The scheme was supposed to be funded through the collection of fishing dues. Hart wrapped up its operations in June 2002 when it became unclear if a new administration in Puntland had the authority to honour their contract. 35 Martin N. Murphy, Contemporary Piracy and Maritime Terrorism – The Threat to International Security. International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, 2007, pp. 36–7 16,000 is such a small number that the resources required to protect them would be wasted. However, as we have seen, the issue of piracy is not divorced from Somalia’s internal problems, and the potential for an environmental disaster, a terrorist attack or major disruption of trade and subsequent increase in oil prices makes the case for preventative action a strong one. Conclusion Whatever the international community decides to do, it must not be at the expense of efforts to secure a political solution inside Somalia. Themost powerful weapon against piracy will be peace and opportunity in Somalia, coupled with an effective and reliable police force and judiciary. Containing or ignoring Somalia and its problems is not an option that will end well. Piracy is a very real threat to seafarers, the shipping industry, the environment, international trade and most of all Somalia and Somalis. There is no single solution, but this paper has highlighted some of the actions that may assist in reducing the threat. If nothing else, it is essential that the international community formulate a plan to ensure that the supply of food aid to Somalia is not interrupted. In the next three months it is of paramount importance that a replacement for Canada is found to escortWFP ships. If there is no permanent solution to the issue of escorting WFP ships, then Somalis will starve and the already severe problems in the region are likely to get worse. The international community cannot view the issue of Somali piracy as a sideline issue. The danger that international shipping will avoid the Gulf of Aden and that the subsequent increased costs will be passed on to consumers should be of grave concern during a time of economic uncertainty. The potential environmental damage from a botched attack could be catastrophic and long-lasting. And if the nightmare scenario occurs and Somali pirates become tools of international terrorism, failure to act now will seem very reckless. www.chathamhouse.org.uk page 12 Piracy in Somalia Chatham House has been the home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs for over eight decades. Our mission is to be a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. Roger Middleton is a consultant researcher working for the Africa Programme at Chatham House. He specializes in the politics of the Horn of Africa, African peace and security architecture and Africa’s relations with the EU. This paper is the first publication in a proposed project on ‘Addressing maritime insecurity in Africa’. Chatham House 10 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4LE www.chathamhouse.org.uk Registered charity no: 208223 Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) is an independent body which promotes the rigorous study of international questions and does not express opinions of its own. The opinions expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the author. © The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2008 This material is offered free of charge for personal and non-commercial use, provided the source is acknowledged. For commercial or any other use, prior written permission must be obtained from the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In no case may this material be altered, sold or rented. Cover image © iStockPhoto.com Designed and typeset by SoapBox, www.soapboxcommunications.co.uk

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