NATO Navies Go Crazy In Somali Waters
NATO NAVIES GO CRAZY IN SOMALI WATERS (ecop-marine)
After it has now transpired that a meanwhile clearly identified navy under NATO command actually fired the first shot in the incident involving a pirated Iranian fishing vessel directly at the coast of Somalia (within the 12nm zone, within the 200nm territorial waters of Somalia and within the 200nm EEZ), killing five and injuring eight with other Somalis as well as 10 Iranian and 4 Pakistani crew-members surviving, it has now transpired that already the next incident has to be reported where NATO warships again seriously endangered the life of hostages.
On Easter-Sunday, 24. April 2011, US warship, USS Stephen W. Groves, operating as part of NATO’s counter piracy mission - Operation Ocean Shield - and being part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), fired upon and destroyed two unmanned pirate skiffs.
So far so good - naval shoot-ups as usual and liked by bored but trigger-happy mariners - many will think, but the two skiffs were towed behind seized Taiwanese fishing vessel FV JIH CHUN TSAI 68 with four remaining hostages (the Taiwanese captain along with two Chinese and one Indonesian sailor), which itself was tethered to the freshly pirated MV ROSALIA D'AMATO, the Italian-owned 74,500 dwt bulk-carrier with 15 Filipino and 6 Italian seamen as hostages.
After being questioned, NATO presents the incident with the following spin:
Operating approximately 100 miles off the coast of Somalia, the NATO warship had successfully intercepted two pirated motor vessels - MV Zirku and MV Rosalia D’amato, and followed the vessels as they headed towards the Somali coast.
The pirated mothership Jih Chun Tsai 68 was tethered to the Rosalia D’Amato and two skiffs were also being towed behind. The NATO warship ordered the pirates to cut loose the mother ship and skiffs. As the pirates did not comply, warning shots were fired, and when they too were ignored, the unmanned skiffs were destroyed. Later, as the USS Stephen Groves moved in closer to the MV Rosalia D’Amato the pirates opened fired on the naval vessel. After returning fire to defend itself, the warship opened to a distance in order to de-escalate the situation and not endanger the innocent hostages on board the pirated ships.
It seems that the U.S.American naval command has learned nothing from the deadly incident on the SY QUEST, where four American hostages were slain in a botched rescue operation. Now they endanger hostages of other nations too.
The flagship and thereby command for Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) under which USS STEPHEN W GROVES sails is the Dutch HNLMS TROMP from the Netherlands. The present commander of NATO‟s counter piracy operation, Ocean Shield, is one Commodore Michiel Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy).
Any judge of sober mind in any jurisdiction the world over will clearly find that this NATO/U.S.American naval stint seriously - and without any chance to achieve anything positive - endangered all the hostages.
While trying to get information if the U.S.American naval attack against this pirated convoy with together 25 hostages plus the 29 hostages (1 Croatian, 1 Iraqi, 1 Filipino, 1 Indian, 3 Jordanians, 3 Egyptians, 2 Ukrainians and 17 Pakistanis) on the nearby MV ZIRKU was authorized by the vessel owner and/or the Italian government, we received first reports which clearly indicate that neither the Italian government nor the vessel owner had authorized any military action and as a matter of fact the navies were only requested to observe the vessel while it was commandeered to Somalia. Apparently the navies and especially NATO have been given firm instructions to stand down and to not wage any military action.
In a recent event where the Danish Navy under NATO and the Seychelles coastguard had unwarrentedly attacked the pirated merchant vessel MV BELUGA NOMINATION three seamen lost their lives.
The basic question concerning armed interventions without the consent of the next-of-kin of the hostages and the flag-state and the owner is a serious issue and must now be addressed by the next of kin of the endangered seafarers, the governments, the shipping community and the media - and leagal action must follow in such cases where innocent hostages are endangered and/or wounded and/or killed by unauthorized and botched naval actions.
- see also: http://www.groundreport.com/Business/Send-NATO-and-their-Navies-to-the-Shrinks/2931537
- see the counter-piracy updates at http://www.australia.to
ECOTERRA Intl. is an international nature protection and human rights organization, whose Africa offices in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania also monitor the marine and maritime situation along the East African Indian Ocean coasts as well as the Gulf of Aden. ECOTERRA is working in Somalia since 1986 and does focus in its work against piracy mainly on coastal development, marine protection and pacification. ECOP-marine (www.ecop.info) is an ECOTERRA group committed to fight against all forms of crime on the waters. Both stand firm against illegal fishing as well as against marine overexploitation and pollution.
ECOTERRA Intl. and ECOP-marine serve concerning the counter-piracy issues as advocacy groups in their capacity as human rights, marine and maritime monitors as well as in co-operation with numerous other organizations, groups and individuals as information clearing-house. In difficult cases we have successfully served as mediators.
For further details and regional information see the archive at www.australia.to and news on www.international.to and see the situation map of the PIRACY COASTS OF SOMALIA (2011).
EMERGENCY HELPLINES: sms or call: +254-719-603-176 / +254-714-747-090
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East Africa ILLEGAL FISHING AND WASTE DUMPING HOTLINE: +254-714-747-090 (confidentiality guaranteed) - email: marine[AT]ecop.info
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