Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ahoy Mateys!

Judging from the attire of the horde of rugrats that extorted treats from me last night, Pirates are super popular these days, but no more so than in Somalia! Earlier Mungowitz posted about how some markets are working in Somalia despite its lack of a functioning government so here's an example from statist Angus about one "market" that isn't.

U.S. Navy helps ship battle pirates off Somalia

What an awesome headline!! Here is the full story.

Selected quotes: A U.S. Navy spokeswoman said piracy was a scourge in Somalia's waters, and American ships were available to intercede.

An international watchdog reported this month that pirate attacks worldwide jumped 14% in the first nine months of 2007, with the biggest increases in the poorly policed waters of Somalia and Nigeria. Reported attacks in Somali waters rose to 26, up from eight a year earlier, the London-based International Maritime Bureau said through its piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Interestingly this rise in piracy corresponds with the ouster of a form of private government and its replacement with, well, nothing!

Somalia has had 16 years of violence and anarchy, and is now led by a government battling to establish authority even in the capital. Its coasts are virtually unpoliced.

Piracy off Somalia increased this year after Ethiopian forces backing Somali government troops ousted an Islamic militia in December, said Mwangura.

During the six months that the Council of Islamic Courts ruled most of southern Somalia, where Somali pirates are based, piracy abated, Mwangura said.

At one point, the Islamic group said it was sending scores of fighters to crack down on pirates there. Islamic fighters even stormed a hijacked, UAE-registered ship and recaptured it after a gunbattle in which pirates — but no crewmembers — were reportedly wounded.

If there was such a thing, how would you like to work for a Somali travel agency? Here's a possible advertising pitch: Visit Somalia: maybe an Islamic Militia will protect you!

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