Who Are the Real Pirates in Somali Waters?
Islam Online.net By Abdulkarim Mohamed Jimale 3 Dec 09 When will Somali piracy problem come to an end? When will the world really care for Somalia’s unprotected waters, stop the illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste? Read more »
OCTOBER 5, 2009 Project Censored The top stories not brought to you by mainstream news media in 2008 and 2009 BY REBECCA BOWE – “……..”I really think we’re beyond reforming corporate media,” says Phillips, a professor of sociology at Sonoma State University and the director of Project Censored. “We’re not going to break up these huge conglomerates. We’re just going to make them irrelevant.”……… Read more »
Are Somalia’s pirates reacting to international abuses? Somali UK 21 April 09 “…………………………The coast remains an easy dumping ground for toxic and nuclear waste.
“It’s a real problem,” said Roger Middleton, a Somalia expert and researcher for the London-based think tank, Chatham House.
“There are very shady goings-on, mostly involving the Mafia.”
The force of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami pulled up dozens of toxic-waste containers, leaving a lethal trail along the Somali coast.
A UN report found as a result many residents suffered “acute respiratory infections, heavy coughing, bleeding gums and mouth, abdominal haemorrhages, unusual skin rashes, and even death.”
Two years later, a team of specialists discovered nine toxic waste sites along 700 km of coastline in southern Somalia.
“Somalia has been used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste starting in the early 1990s, and continuing through the civil war there,” Nick Nuttall of the UN’s Environment Program told the television channel Al-Jazeera, echoing similar findings from other reports.
“And the waste is many different kinds. There is uranium radioactive waste. There is lead, and heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. There is also industrial waste, and there are hospital wastes, chemical wastes – you name it.”
The waste came from European companies, which paid shady intermediaries as little as $2.50 a tonne to dispose of it, compared with about $1,000 a tonne in Europe…………
Getting a Grip Pirates, Bankers, Libertarians ARTVOICE by Michael I. Niman 16 April 09 – “………………..Somalia, a country that hasn’t had an operating central government since 1991, is a libertarian Republican’s wet dream, where entrepreneurs can grow their businesses unfettered by laws and regulations. Out of this brave new old world of unbridled capitalism, 21st-century Blackbeards have emerged, shoeless gangstas doing it Somali style on the high seas,…………………….There’s a reason why the Maersk Alabama was the first American ship seized by pirates in two centuries. Ninety percent of internationally traded goods are transported on approximately 50,000 freighters and tankers, but putting aside domestic and Great Lakes shipping, only about 200 of these ships are registered to the United States and staffed by Americans. Today’s ships are registered under “flags of convenience,” exempting their multinational corporate owners from taxes and environmental and labor regulation……………
………………..When Somalia’s government fell in 1991, making Somalia a free-market free-for-all, it opened the door for all sorts of exploitation on the lawless coast……………………..a new type of European pirate followed in their wake—this time using the Somali coast as a toxic and radioactive waste dump. The Independent quotes the United Nations envoy to Somalia as reporting not only that “Somebody is dumping nuclear waste here,” but “there is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury” showing up in Somalia’s coastal waters. In 2005, more than 300 coastal residents died from radiation sickness after leaking barrels of radioactive waste started washing ashore. Much of the toxic waste found on the Somali coast is traceable to European hospitals and industrial facilities.
Toxic waste behind Somali piracy
Axis of Logic By Najad Abdullahi
Monday, Apr 13, 2009 Somali pirates have accused European firms of dumping toxic waste off the Somali coast and are demanding an $8m ransom for the return of a Ukranian ship they captured, saying the money will go towards cleaning up the waste.
The ransom demand is a means of “reacting to the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country for nearly 20 years”, Januna Ali Jama, a spokesman for the pirates, based in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, said.
“The Somali coastline has been destroyed, and we believe this money is nothing compared to the devastation that we have seen on the seas.”
The pirates are holding the MV Faina, a Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military hardware, off Somalia’s northern coast………………
………….Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy for Somalia confirmed to Al Jazeera the world body has “reliable information” that European and Asian companies are dumping toxic waste, including nuclear waste, off the Somali coastline……………
………Mustafa Tolba, the former UNEP executive director, told Al Jazeera that he discovered the firms were set up as fictitious companies by larger industrial firms to dispose of hazardous waste.
“At the time, it felt like we were dealing with the Mafia, or some sort of organised crime group, possibly working with these industrial firms,” he said. “It was very shady, and quite underground, and I would agree with Ould-Abdallah’s claims that it is still going on… Unfortunately the war has not allowed environmental groups to investigate this fully.”
The Italian mafia controls an estimated 30 per cent of Italy’s waste disposal companies, including those that deal with toxic waste……………
………………Mohammed Gure, chairman of the Somalia Concern Group, said that the social and environmental consequences will be felt for decades.
“The Somali coastline used to sustain hundreds of thousands of people, as a source of food and livelihoods. Now much of it is almost destroyed, primarily at the hands of these so-called ministers that have sold their nation to fill their own pockets.”
Ould-Abdallah said piracy will not prevent waste dumping. “The intentions of these pirates are not concerned with protecting their environment,” he said. “What is ultimately needed is a functioning, effective government that will get its act together and take control of its affairs.”
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