Who are the pirates of Somalia? How did this gang originate? These and other questions will be answered in the article. Somali pirates are modern armed groups, with the aim of buying out spectacular ships off the coast of Somalia. They are armed, as a rule, with grenade launchers and automatic weapons. They use small-tonnage vessels (motor boats, boats, fishing schooners) as vehicles.
Somali pirates are often magnificently organized, but not very well prepared. Territorial waters of Somalia have the status of the location of naval bases of some countries and international organizations, as well as militarized (police, military, humanitarian) zones of responsibility of guarding, patrolling or checking parties. In order to ensure the safety of shipping, the area of pirates is patrolled by the Russian Navy, NATO member countries, India and other states.
Composition of groupings
Pirates of Somalia are young people of 20-35 years old from Putland (self-proclaimed state in north-eastern Somalia). According to the Air Force, pirates are divided into such categories of persons:
- Experts working with technology, mainly with GPS-equipment;
- Local fishermen, who understand the situation in marine situations;
- The former military, who participated in the internal battles of Somalia as part of local unions.
The Association for the Encouragement of the Sailors of West Africa has found out that there are about five basic pirate gangs in which there are a thousand gunmen in arms.
The emergence of piracy
How and why there were pirates of Somalia? Since 1991, this country has virtually ceased to exist as a centralized state, divided into zones of operation of local authorities. Since then, the financial system and the centralized economy do not operate in it.
The country is full of weapons. Thanks to this nuance it is not at all difficult to create superbly equipped raider teams. Local government (or rather, tribal leaders and field commanders) either participates in the pirate fishery, or closes his eyes to it. It is not interested in any opposition to the militants, as they have no influence on its international status.
How did the pirates of Somalia begin to seize ships? Near this country are the routes of ships traveling through the Suez Canal from the countries of Asia and the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. In addition, ships often go to the ports of the Indian Riviera of Africa or from them. It is known that the countries of Europe and Asia often conclude trade contracts among themselves. As a result, an impressive stream of ships with valuable cargo turns into a mass of objects for a probable capture.
Piracy in this area of the planet since 2004 began to develop at an accelerated pace. The International Maritime Bureau reported that in the Somali waters since the beginning of 2008 more than 100 attacks have been committed on transport ships. During this period, the militants were able to capture 40 ships, 13 of them have not been released so far. In captivity to this day is about 268 people from different countries.
From 10 to 16 November 2008, 11 attacks were carried out in this area (three ships were hijacked), and four episodes were recorded in which the shooting was conducted. Pirates have always used fairly powerful small arms and even grenade launchers, but so far no sailor has died from their hands. Perhaps this is due to the disgusting preparation and deliberate tactics of militants who understand that if the blood spills, they are waiting for a hard pursuit on the shore. That is why pirates in relation to hostage-seamen are loyal, and ransom is demanded by companies and corporations, owners of cargoes and ships.
Of course, hunting for pirates of Somalia is open. The international forces and special forces of the countries that sent their navies to the area of the incident are increasingly opening fire to defeat. In 2010, militants accused the special forces of Russia in the execution of 10 pirates without trial and investigation. This incident occurred after the release of the Russian tanker.
In 2011, on February 22, the situation changed: the marauders robbed the lives of US hostages on a captured yacht, which was pursued by an American vessel. The militants opened fire on a warship from an RPG, but missed. After that, four US citizens were killed on the yacht.
When did the fight against the pirates of Somalia begin? In 2008, on October 7, the UN Security Council adopted Decree No. 1838, which allowed states to use the Air Force and the Navy in this confrontation.
In 2008, on December 8, the EU launched Operation Atlanta, and in January 2009, an operational mixed group No. 151 was established.
Of paramount importance is Decree No. 1816, adopted by the UN Security Council in 2008. It is this that establishes the basis for combating piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Operatives were able to detain only 500 militants, two thirds of which were later released. In 2010, in April, at the initiative of Russia, a UN Security Council resolution was adopted on an effective criminal prosecution for piracy.
The first sea battles
It is known that a medal for combating the pirates of Somalia SCR "Neustrashimy" was awarded to many operatives. On March 4, 2003, sea bandits attacked the Russian tanker "Moneron", carrying out a flight to Kenya from Saudi Arabia. Seven pirates on two motor boats chased the ship for about an hour, firing grenade launchers and submachine guns.
In 160 km from the shores of Somalia on November 5, 2005, militants attacked the cruise liner "Siborn Spirit", which followed from Alexandria to the Seychelles. It is known that in 2005, pirates organized about 23 raids.
The battle with the corsairs, which also involved two ships of the US Navy (destroyer and missile cruiser) occurred in 2006. This battle is considered the first sea battle of the XXI century. It should be added that the UN World Food Program chartered a dry cargo ship "Rosen", and in 2007 it was captured by pirates. In the same year, they detained a Japanese tanker.
Losses in 2011
In 2011, the maritime bandits from Somalia caused losses of $ 6.6-6.9 billion. This can be read in the report Oceans Beyond Piracy (the project of the American foundation One Earth Future).
Pirates of Somalia love to be photographed with trophies. In the Arabian Sea in 2012, on May 10, they boarded a Greek tanker "Smyrni", flying the flag of Liberia. He transported 135 thousand tons of crude oil.
Europeans for the first time in 2012, May 15, shelled pirates on the lands of Somalia. They struck a missile attack from the air: the operation involved aviation stationed on ships of the European Navy patrolling the Gulf of Aden. The commander of the united European forces in the region, Rear Admiral Potts Duncan, said that the shelling was point-blank and there were no casualties among the local residents. From Europeans, no one was hurt. To which country the aircraft belonged, they were not informed.
Thanks to the actions of the interethnic coalition, from May 2012 to May 2013, the sea robbers failed to catch a single ship. In the elimination of piracy, the operation of the special detachment of naval police of Putland also played an important role. The forces of this organization destroyed ground bases of militants. After its creation, the corsairs had to leave for the Galmudug coast.
The damage from the activities of Somali pirates increases every year. The size of the ransoms has increased significantly, they are interrelated with the size of the ships caught. If earlier the amount did not exceed 400-500 thousand dollars, today it is about 5 million.
In 2009, there were tours of "Somalia". The pirates so finished the people that some started on the Internet to advertise cruises along the coast of this country. The program of tourist travel for 2009 cost only 1500 dollars. Organizers offered unpunished hunting for pirates from their favorite weapons.
They wrote that their ship would sail along the Somali coast, waiting for the attack of the corsairs. Tourists were offered to take weapons with them or rent it from the organizers of the cruise.
The vessel was to leave Mombasa (Nigeria) and go along the coast of Somalia to Djibouti, where the journey ended. It was reported that on the ship each traveler can get one hundred tracer cartridges for free. Enterprising guides promised to tourists that the pirates will attack at least twice. And if this does not happen, they claimed that they would return half of the cost of the cruise.