Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Conflict Mining/Resources, Dumb America, Environment

Something fishy about Somali pirates

All the media hype around the $100 million crude oil tanker seajacked by Somalia “pirates” – I just cannot find anything within me to remotely sympathise with the cargo, it’s owner and owners and the crew are just as much victims of exploitation as workers everywhere if not more. Knowing there is a super story to the one being hyped – the other Somali pirates who aren’t actually Somali but those that plunder the seas around Somalia for fish and when they are not doing that they are busy dumping toxic waste into the same seas.

Somebody needs to guard Somali’s water resources, but it certainly isn’t the Americans. The U.S. Fifth Fleet, of the U.S. Navy’s Central Command, patrols the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean – Somalia’s neighborhood. It also bombs Somalis that resist the Ethiopian occupation and targets people the U.S. claims have ties to Al Qaida. But the American fleet does little to interfere with the illegal dumping of radioactive waste in Somali waters or any other crimes against the environment and Somalia’s national treasure and sovereignty.

Via Marian’s blog



  1. Journalist in Kenya

    This is some ignorant bullshit you just wrote.

  2. Ana

    I also do not sympathize with them.When the European pirates were stealing African goods and African humans and shipping them as cargo, most of the legitimate governments that existed at that time did not budge or stop them.

    My only problem is that the lack of order or anarchy in Somalia has contributed to piracy, lawlessness and no one is really safe there.

    This is going to really lead to serious problems now because many of the Shipping Companies will hire armed guards to protect their million dollar cargo, so soon the Somalis “free for all, fast money” will be over.

    Somalia, a largely homogeneous country, with an official religion is not supposed to have any problem setting up a government and running their country for the good of the Somalis.

    But I don’t give 10 coconuts about those individuals and the blasted cargo that the Somalis pirates are holding.If they can received payment, why not? Europeans and Arabs did the same thing to Africans many, many, many times.

  3. anengiyefa

    Piracy is wrong. It is barbaric, irrespective of what the motives are or what has happened in the past. Showing support for what these pirates are doing off Somalia and comparing it to the slave trade of centuries ago, is like suggesting that because my neighbour destroyed my property 20 years ago, I am justified in now 20years later, burning his house down. This logic is flawed. Piracy is wrong simpliciter, pure and simple! The Somali people should be working towards setting their house in order and trying to earn for themselves some respect in the international community. They should be thinking about restoring order and civility in their comapratively homogenous society and laying the gound for true and lasting prosperity. Where will piracy lead them one wonders?

  4. Comment by post author


    Anengiyefa @ I am not supporting piracy – that would be ridiculous however I dont consider it barbaric. Poverty is barbaric but I dont see the same outrage expressed about poverty. The trillions of $ spent on killing machines is barbaric! What I am saying is I feel no sympathy for the ship owners.

    As for calling for Somalis to “setting their house in order” you present that as if Somalia or any country for that matter is disconnected from the rest of the world. Somalia the country is not engaged in piracy. Individuals in that country are engaged in piracy – there is a difference. Nor I am suggesting a tit for tat. I am explaining that Somalis individuals are not the only ones engaged in piracy!

  5. anengiyefa

    @Sokari in my earlier comment I was responding to what Ana said when she commented that Europeans and Arabs did the same thing in the past.

    That individuals in Somalia are able to carry out acts of piracy of this magnitude with impunity is confirmation that as a state, the Somali authorities have failed in their primary duty to restore and maintain order. I am unhappy about by the way Africans tend to shift blame for our failures unto the West. Toxic waste perhaps, but this surely cannot be the reason why Somalia is in such an anarchic state.

  6. Comment by post author


    anengiyefa @ I find it very frustrating that whenever anyone mentions the West in relationship to what is happening in a particular African country the response is always to exonerate them as per your sentence “I am unhappy about by the way Africans tend to shift blame for our failures unto the West”. I am not “blaming” the West. I am trying to discuss what is happening in Somalia one of which is the dumping of toxic waste and the illegal fishing of Somali waters. Would you rather I did not mention these two facts? Why is it OK to be critical about the failures of Somalia and not to be critical about the actions from the West which have either contributed to that failure or have taken advantage of it? Is it OK for the West or any country for that matter to take advantage of a crisis for their own interest. The irony is that the monies gained from piracy are used to buy illegal arms from Western arms manufacturers. Of course if Somalia was at peace they would loose quite a bit of their arms sales – a fact that surely does not encourage them to work towards peace!

    I have never been afraid to criticise the actions of African leaders but at the same time I have never been shy of naming western interest and western collusion in our failures, wars, conflicts etc. Things do not happen in vacuums!

  7. anengiyefa

    It is not the illegal fishing of their waters that caused Somali fishermen to abandon their fishing nets and acquire AK47 Kalashnikov machine guns. The political realities which have developed in Somalia since 1991 have left the country without a central government and its waters unrepresented by a recognisable state in the community of nations. With no national ocean governance, fisheries policy or management structure in place, Somali waters are truly open access for fishing. It is the war and the protracted unrest and instability that has caused the collapse of the fisheries industry in Somalia. It is up to the Somalis to organise themselves and take charge of what is rightfully theirs.

  8. Ana

    The chaos and anarchy in Somalia is what has contributed to piracy.
    I am interested in the Somalis ending the chaos. I am not interested in the loot stolen.

    Piracy is wrong. But as long as the Somalis have no stable government,piracy and lawlessness are going to reign.

    We should look at the big picture.Worrying about cargo and how the international community view the crime is nonsensical.

    As I have said before, the Somalis are somewhat homogeneous , with an official religion and a unifying language and culture, they shouldn’t have any problem setting up a governmemt for the good of the Somalis.

    I grew up in the shadow of the Panama Canal where my father was an engineer at this great waterway.Every day hundreths of ships transit daily and the pilots always have stories to tell.

    Piracy exists everywhere.There is always the threat of being attacked by pirates whenever anyone pilots a boat(ship) into the wide seas.Getting hysterical about it when we all know it is a risk is ridiculous.There are many who believe that the high seas is” no man’s land”.

    The international community must join together and defend our right to travel the seas freely.

    But first we need stable governments to begin with everywhere.
    Nation building and fostering security and economic stability in many African countries have not being giving priority by the international community.The fact that they were not able to see this coming is foolish.

    I am only interested in the big picture.Piracy is a small tree in the gigantic forest.