Reverse Robin Hoods are still busy off the Somali coast, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, stealing fish from the sea, pouring poisons in the sea, and now trying to steal the sea itself.
Kenya is making a bid to expand its territorial waters into Somali territory. The Kenya government, and the TFG government of Somalia, installed by the US, have signed a Memo of Understanding.
NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 11 (Garowe Online) – The governments of Somalia and Kenya inked a Memorandum of Understanding last week that has stirred socio-political controversy across Somalia, re-igniting memories from half a century ago when Kenya was “awarded” Somali territory by withdrawing European colonizers.
A copy of the MoU, obtained by independent Somali news agency Garowe Online, indicated that the Somali and Kenyan governments will pose “no objection in respect of submissions on the Outer Limits of the Continental Shelf beyond 200 Nautical Miles” to a United Nations body tasked with enforcing the the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The MoU between the governments of Somalia and Kenya regarding the continental shelf has stirred public debate among the Somali people, who are already weary of foreign agendas.
The MoU signed between the governments of Somalia and Kenya leaves room for different intepretations, as the document openly admits that upcoming submissions to the UN body may allow the two countries to lay claim over the so-called “area of dispute.”
This vague clause throws into question Somalia’s sovereign rights over natural resources found on the continental shelf, as the long-standing “maritime dispute” between Somalia and Kenya has been placed on hold to allow Kenya to lay claim over the so-called “area of dispute” within the 10-year submission deadline period required under international law.
… there is the sense that since Somalia is a weaker nation-state, the MoU was written to empower Kenya to lay claim over an area of ownership that has apparently been in “maritime dispute” for years.
The signing of this MoU comes at a time when Kenya is intensifying its search for oil, especially in offshore blocks, with Swedish and Chinese firms leading the effort.
Rebels opposed to the TFG in the Somali capital Mogadishu have spread information and accused the Somali government of “selling the sea” to the neighboring Republic of Kenya.
This information, rightly or wrongly, has largely been accepted at face-value by a Somali public reeling from nearly 20 years of civil war, gross abuse of public trust and a legacy inherited from the colonial years.
The central regions of Somalia fall under the control of various groups, including clan militias and Islamist fighters. Support for Sheikh Sharif’s government in these regions is very fluid and uncertain.
In the northwest, the unrecognized breakaway republic of Somaliland has refused to recognize President Sheikh Sharif’s government, strictly following a separatist policy since the early 1990s.
The Puntland regional authority, in northeastern Somalia, has adopted a wait-and-see approach, although the region’s leader has repeatedly supported federalism as the only acceptable system of government for Somalia.
It is not clear what impact the MoU between Somalia and Kenya will have on the rest of the country, but the document has stirred debate across the country as Somalis largely view such agreements hidden from the public with suspicion.
The TFG does not represent much of the country. This agreement will give Kenya rights to waters that belonged to Somalia. The current Somalia government was installed with a great deal of help from the US Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Ranneberger, who remains tireless in his efforts to suppress democracy and strengthen America’s enemies.
MOGADISHU, April 8 (Xinhua) — The Somali government on Wednesday defended a controversial maritime boundary agreement signed with the Kenyan government this week.
The two governments on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding on their maritime boundary but some in Somalia suggested that the agreement cedes Somali maritime territory to Kenya.
According to the provisions of UNCLOS, coastal states intending to delineate the outer limits of their continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles are required to submit particulars of such limits with supporting scientific and technical data.
Some local media reported that the Somali government agreed the demarcation of the maritime boundary between the two east African countries in favor of Kenya.
Somalia which had not functioning government for nearly two decades has the longest coast in Africa but its case for drawing its continental reach will be complicated by internal division and the lack of capacity to generate supporting scientific and technical data.
Oil is at the heart of this move, and possibly some fishing rights. If Kenya owns more of the sea, it means more potential money from oil leases. The oil majors have recently returned to Somalia, and Kenya would like a piece of the action.
Kenya: Can Government Beat the Deadline to Lay Claim to Expanded Territorial Waters?
The question of where exactly to draw the offshore border between Kenya and its northern neighbour Somalia has long been a concern for Kenya’s efforts in oil exploration in the Lamu region. However, with no central government or any legitimate governing body, Somalia will not be in a position to file the necessary documentation to secure its coastal areas, and therefore may lose its erritorial waters to Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen. With the increased incidences of piracy in its waters too, it is likely that the international community will be more than willing to see the waters of the country be fall under the jurisdiction of one of its more stable neighbors. Already, the UN security council has given the green light to states to patrol the waters of Somalia to curb the incidences of piracy. Under the UNCLOS, this would actually not be allowed as it will be encroachment of a sovereign country’s territorial waters.
offshore oil leases == $$$$$$
Posted by: b real | Apr 9, 2009 11:37:34 AM | 33
Since US Ambassador Ranneberger is in charge of Kenya and Somali policy for the US. We can be sure he is involved in this diplomatic activity, robbing from the poor to give to the rich. In this case the rich are oil interests. They are moving back into Puntland. And it looks like someone is sending arms into Somalia:
MOGADISHU, Somalia Apr 12 (Garowe Online) – Witnesses and workers at Mogadishu’s main seaport said African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM) closed off roads near the port and entered nearby neighborhoods as a ship docked.
“There were many AMISOM soldiers in our area…on top of buildings and they refused us to leave [homes],” said a witness.
Port workers said the ship unloaded military hardware, including vehicles, which were transported to AMISOM bases in Mogadishu.
The spokesman for Islamist hardliners Al Shabaab vowed to continue the war against the government of Somali President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed after accusing the government of “selling the sea.”
President Sheikh Sharif’s government and the government of Kenya signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Nairobi that has stirred political debate across Somalia. READ: Somalia-Kenya sign MoU for maritime ‘area of dispute’
Al Shabaab rebels control many regions in southern Somalia, including regions near the border with Kenya.
President Sheikh Sharif’s government, which controls some sections of Mogadishu, is the 15th attempt by the international community to restore national order in Somalia.
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its seas have been ruthlessly exploited since 1992. All of the navies supposedly fighting pirates are also guarding the illegal fishing and the illegal toxic dumping that have been ongoing and increasing since 1992.
The international navies are protecting their piratical raids on Somali resources, and calling the Somalis pirates when they try to fight back. This internationally sponsored piracy is completely brazen, and no one is held to account. The fishing pirates openly request the assistance of the supposedly anti-pirate navies in Somali waters:
Ecoterra Intl. – SMCM (Somali Marine & Coastal Monitor) Part IX
Leaders from the National Association of Freezer Tuna Vessel Owners (ANABAC) and the Big Frozen Tuna Vessels Producers Association (OPAGAC) have also sent written requests to the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs for the establishment of a secondary Atalanta Operation command centre in Mahe, Seychelles, or Mombassa, Kenya, that would bolster protection of tuna fishing vessels from Spain and the EU that operate off southern Somalia.
Amy Goodman interviewed Mohamed Abshir Waldo for Democracy Now:
AMY GOODMAN: Mohamed Abshir Waldo, explain how what you call “fishing piracy” began.
MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Fishing piracy means fishing without license, fishing by force, even though the community complains, even though whatever authorities are there complain, even though they ask these foreign fishing fleets and trawlers and vessels that have no license, that have no permit whatsoever, when they tell them, “Stop fishing and get out of the area,” they refuse, and instead, in fact, they fight. They fought with the fishermen and coastal communities, pouring boiling water on them and even shooting at them, running over their canoes and fishing boats. These were the problems that had been going on for so long, until the community organized themselves and empowered, actually, what they call the National Volunteer Coast Guard, what you would call and what others call today as “pirates.”
AMY GOODMAN: So you’re saying illegal fishing is happening off the coast of Somalia. What countries are engaged in it?
MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: The countries engaged include practically all of southern Europe, France, Spain, Greece, UK. Nowadays I hear even Norway. There were not many Scandinavians before, but Norwegian fishing now is involved in this, you know, very profitable fishing business. So, there are others, of course. There are Russian. There are Taiwanese. There are Philippines. There are Koreans. There are Chinese. You know, it’s a free-for-all coast.
And to make things worse, we learned that now that the navies and the warships are there; every country is protecting their own illegal fishing piracies—vessels. They have come back. They ran away from the Somali volunteer guards, coast guards, but now they are back. And they are being protected by their navies. In fact, they are coming close to the territorial waters to harass again the fishermen, who no longer have opportunity or possibility to fish on the coast because of the fear of being called pirates and apprehended by the navy, who are at the same time protecting the other side.
So the issue is really a matter of tremendous injustice …
AMY GOODMAN: A little more on the issue of toxic dumping, if you would, Mohamed Abshir Waldo. I don’t think people in the United States understand exactly what it is you’re referring to and how it affects people.
MOHAMED ABSHIR WALDO: Well, toxic dumping, industrial waste dumping, nuclear dumping, as you are probably aware and have heard and many people know, for quite some time, in the ’70s mainly, in the ’80s, in the ’90s, there was a lot of waste of all these kinds that companies wanted to get rid of, following very strict environmental rules in their countries. So where else to take but in countries in conflict or weak countries who could not prevent them or who could be bought? So these wastes have been carried to Somalia. It’s been in the papers. It has been reported by media organizations like Al Jazeera, I think, like CNN. Many had reported about the Mafia, Italian Mafia, who admitted it, dumping it in Somalia for quite some time, for quite a long time.
And as we speak now, I heard yesterday, in fact, another vessel was captured in the Gulf of Aden by community—this time not pirates, by the community, when the suspected it, and it was carrying two huge containers, which it dumped into the sea when they saw these people coming to them. They have been apprehended. The vessel had been apprehended. Fortunately, the containers did not sink into the sea, but they are being towed to the coast. And this community has invited the international community to come and investigate this matter. So far, we don’t have action. So this dumping, waste dumping, toxic dumping, nuclear waste dumping has been ongoing in Somalia since 1992.
AMY GOODMAN: When I read your article, Mohamed Abshir Waldo, it reminded me of a controversial memo that was leaked from the World Bank—this was when Lawrence Summers, now the chief economic adviser, was the chief economist at the World Bank—in which it said, “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable, and we should face up to that. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted.”
Using the same excuse people always use for offensive and discriminatory remarks, Summers said he was just being sarcastic. People always try to hide prejudice and offense behind “I was just joking”, or “can’t you take a joke”. Summers was voicing something that many people think, but are not willing to articulate. Do you think anyone in the international community will notice the toxic waste that was just dumped?
Nobody cared when the tsunami washed up many tons of toxic waste in broken and leaking containers, and poisoned whole communities along the Somali coast. Rather than protecting the Somali coast, the international navies are protecting the illegal fishing and toxic dumping, and treating Somali fishermen as if they are all pirates. The only chance Somalia has is to form a central government that has support from a majority of the Somali people. But with th US, Ethiopia, and Kenya, undermining all attempts to do this, things don’t look good. Plus it looks very much like the US wants to invade Somalia. The recent execution of the three teenage pirates is probably just another play in the invasion game. Stealing from the poor to give to the rich will continue unquestioned.