Western state’s intervention: Another type of piracy [Archives:2008/1203/Opinion]

October 30 2008

By: Zeyad Abu Shawish
The U.S. and many European states showed a desire to send their warships to Yemeni and Somali coastlines, and the Red Sea to fight pirates and ensure protection for sailing ships in these areas. For the first time, this news seems to be normal and free of any troublesome backgrounds for us as Arabs.

The one, who closely observes aspects and developments of the problem faced by Yemen for two years now and how the vulnerable Arab state asked for relief and international cooperation to help it solve such a seemingly complicated problem because it is linked with the ongoing civil war with an Ethiopian occupation that receives secret support from another stronger party.

The problem got complicated amid absence role of the Arab League that is supposed to have helped one of its members. The one who closely observes the situation will find something terrible in such strange news and declarations, as well as get shocked at such a sudden European attention toward Yemen's affairs and sharp description of what is taking place on the ground.

The UN Security Council's Resolution, approved by consensus, on the piracy operations that are practiced in the Somali coastline, which was taken on Oct. 7, will undoubtedly give legitimacy to the presence of pirates in other areas after they proved strong enough to intimidate owners of kidnapped ships, be they companies or governments. Those pirates also require big ransoms from companies or states in exchange for releasing any kidnapped vessels and innocent passengers.

The UN Security Council's Resolution on piracy and pirates is the second of its kind this year. As usual, the resolution was suggested by France, which demanded that more able states should take tough procedures to hunt for criminals, as well as use the military force including aircrafts, armored cruisers and other artillery in order for the job to be a success. The resolution left an open timeframe for doing such a job.

The UN Security Council issued another resolution on this regard last July, however, it produced no fruitful results while the piracy operations continued to increase. Therefore, the situation raised cynicism and numerous questions, most important of which is that “What helps pirates practice their acts in the sea and be strong in seizing warships like the Ukrainian one, which led to taking the above-mentioned resolution against pirates?”

There are many possible answers to this question, one of which is the probable presence of an international plan administered by superpowers with a good capacity to achieve this purpose.

UN Resolution ignores real causes of the problem

The rage shown by some African countries toward the most recent UN Security Council's Resolution is justified because the resolution ignored the real causes of the problem and focused on addressing its consequences. We know that poor living standards resulting from the Civil War in Somalia and intervention of Ethiopian troops, backed by the U.S. in Somali domestic conflicts and the UN and Arab League's indifference toward ongoing sufferings of Somali people lead to illegal immigration of Somali citizens to other neighboring states. Affected citizens resorted to such an illegal immigration to escape death while criminal groups turned to exploit lawlessness and people's starvation and poverty to practice piracy operations in the Somali coastlines, the Arab Sea and the Red Sea.

The UN, which paid close attention to the Ukrainian ship's issue and hasn't reacted to the problem until the piracy operations targeted citizens and ships belonging to western states, is supposed to have addressed the essential causes of the problem by sending international peacekeepers in lieu of the Ethiopian Occupation forces or African peacekeepers that lack even the necessary equipment.

Source: Al-Sahwa.net