Below is a video of Xaabo Tuna Factory located in a remote town in the northern part of the Bari Region. Currently, it is one of two fish processing plants in the state and it employs over 400 people.
A delegation from European countries toured Somalia’s Puntland state for the first time, Radio Garowe reports.
The plane carrying the delegation led by the Spanish envoy to Kenya, whose country temporarily hold EU chair, landed at Conoco, in the outskirts of Garowe city, the administrative capital of Puntland.
Puntland State President Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed “Farole,” and senior government officials received the delegation comprising of envoys representing European countries to Kenya, in Garowe presidential palace.
“It is a historic trip for the EU envoys in Kenya to Garowe, they are arriving at a time when the region is green and rainy season, and they have even seen how Puntland is rich interms of livestock,” he said after the meeting with the envoys.
Among the things discussed is strengthening cooperation and advancing EU-sponsored development projects in Puntland State, which has been successful, added the president.
He however noted that the envoys had short time to spend on the trip, promising another tour to take them around and discuss development projects in Puntland State.
The envoys were then taken to Salahley, in the outskirts of Garowe, where they were prepared for special lunch.
After the wonderful lunch, the envoys met with traditional elders who included Islan Isse Islan Mohammed, Sultan Said Mohammed Garase, Garad Abdullahi Ali Iid, Sultan Said Mohammed and Sultan Mohammed Mashqare.
“I am telling you that Puntland enjoys peace and tranquility both in the rural and urban like you have seen now, the peace is a common interest for everyone in Puntland,. We only need the developed countries to support us on what we can’t achieve. We pray to God for the stability of the rest of the country that is suffering from conflict. We call on you to offer your help and we will always welcome you,” said Islan Isse Islan Mohammed. .
The EU delegation flew back to Nairobi, Kenya, later Saturday.
On Tuesday, President Abdirahman Farole of Puntland returned to Garowe, after a long trip abroad.
During a press conference held in the presidential palace, Farole hailed the recent rescue of Hijacked ship MV QSM Dubai by the Puntland forces.
“…it is the third time that Puntland forces successfully rescue a hijacked vessel, this is a surprise to the world but no one is helping us to fight piracy….” Says President Farole who just returned from a trip to Turkey and UAE.
Mr.Farole called for the international community to help Puntland combat piracy. He says his government is against the payment of ransom, which he says will encourage more piracy in Somalia.
President Farole was among Somali delegates attending the Istanbul conference on Somalia, in May. He says the conference was an unique opportunity for Somalia, adding that his government was working hard to get more development projects to Puntland.
24 May 24, 2010 – 10:16:55 AM
by Andrew Mwangura
ANALYSIS | The devastating Somali civil war since 1991 forced the Somali marine and fisheries sector to an abrupt collapse and almost all Somali fisheries activities shut down. The vessels of the Somali national fishing fleet were abducted and have never been returned. It is estimated that at least 200,000 people lost their jobs and the Somali fishing communities are still struggling to recover.
However, illegal fishing by foreign fleets and the more serious nuclear and toxic waste dumping from the industrialised world pose since then an environmental, socio-economic and ecological threat, which is unparalleled.
Very sophisticated factory-style fishing-vessels, which were designed for distant-water fishing and travel from faraway countries, whose harbours are thousands of miles away from Somalia and whose own fisheries resources are either under tight legal protection or already drastically overexploited, poured into the unprotected Somali waters.
They are in search of high-priced tuna, mackerel, swordfish, grouper, emperor, snapper, shark and of course the other valuable species in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. With impunity they rob rock-lobster and shrimps for the tables of the wealthiest in this world, and dolphins, sea turtles and sea-cucumbers for the deranged tastes of the Far East. They have diminished the extraordinary population of dugong to near extinction.
Their task is solely oriented toward short-term gains, knowing the ecological limits, since Somalia does not only experience political but also resource displacement. Besides civil strife and outright war, the massive foreign fishing piracy, bringing criminal poaching and wanton destruction of the Somali marine resources for the last 19 years, may be one of the most damaging factors for the country, economically, environmentally and security-wise.
By: ANTONIO MARIA COSTA (executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
How is it possible that pirates from very poor Somalia can hold to ransom ships from some of the richest countries, despite the patrolling by the world’s strongest navies?
That was the dilemma discussed at the recent Istanbul Conference on Somalia, and is high on the agenda of the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.
The current anti-piracy strategy has worked well, but it is facing diminishing returns. Naval patrols off the Horn of Africa have reduced the success rate of attacks: 1 in 10 attempts succeed now, compared to 1 in 3 before. Yet the number of (reported) attacks doubled between 2007 and 2008 from 51 to 111, and doubled again in 2009 to 217. They are still on the increase.
Five years ago, most attacks were along the Somali coast; now some are carried out 1,000 miles offshore. The average ransom used to be a few thousand dollars; it has skyrocketed to $2-3 million and rising. Somali piracy will again earn about $100 million this year.
Navies from around the world protect vessels off the costs of Somalia. Is that working? To an extent yes, but at an exorbitant cost. A vessel patrolling off Somalia costs $100,000 a day. Considering that there are more than 40 vessels out on patrol, the aggregate annual operational cost is about $1.5 billion, compared to the $3 million paid into an anti-piracy trust fund especially created by the United Nations.
The effects on rich countries’ economy has been negligible, as insurance rates have increased only minimally. But the impact of piracy on East Africa is devastating: It endangers lives, curbs trade, kills tourism, steals food aid, enriches criminals, funds insurgents and perverts the regional economy. The disruption has now moved to Great Lakes states that use East African ports for trade.
What can be done?
Letting the pirates go makes no sense: They are back in the water within a week (600 so far have been released following confiscation of their weapons). Shooting them on sight is fundamentally wrong (although it has happened, including recently). Transporting them to countries that own the seized vessels is impractical, given the distance and jurisdictional complexities. What else?
Patrolling off the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean must continue, and seized pirates must be brought to trial in the region: Kenya currently holds 124 pirates, the Seychelles 31 (which is 10 percent of their prison population). More pirates should, and can be tried in other countries in East Africa.
Further international assistance is therefore needed to strengthen the capacity of countries in the region — training prosecutors, refurbishing courts and prisons. This can have wider benefits: It can help police in the Horn of Africa combat drug trafficking (30-35 tons a year from Afghanistan alone), and the smuggling of guns, people, resources and electronics.
Most of all, the problem must be tackled at its source. Somalia is a high-risk environment, but not all of it is completely anarchic. In provinces such as Somaliland and Puntland, authorities have some control. They should be assisted, technically and financially, to build institutional and logistical infrastructures — coast guards, police, courts — to enforce the anti-piracy law on land.
They should also be assisted with social and economic programs to reconstruct the country and especially to provide jobs to young men otherwise vulnerable to crime.
To begin with — and this is the easy part — Somali prisons should be refurbished to enable Somali pirates to serve their sentences on home soil — even sentences imposed abroad.
Next, the judicial system in Somalia’s provinces where security has improved should be strengthened to the point (not far at all) that it can try its own pirates.
Above all, robust anti-money laundering measures are needed. Each pirate takes home $10-15,000 per successful raid. Their skiffs, in an attack formation, hold 20 to 24 pirates, which collectively amounts to $300,000 to $500,000 per attack.
Given ransom payments of a few million dollars per ship, the difference makes the criminal groups the big winners. In other words, piracy has become an increasingly profitable business — insurance companies do not mind paying a few million dollars for the ransom of a tanker whose temporary disability in the hands of pirates would cost as much per week.
It’s time to adapt the international strategy in Somalia to new conditions — dealing with the problem at its source, on land, rather than at sea.
Until a solution is found in Somalia, the pirates will keep coming.
Yesterday elders in the Bari region of Puntland held a press conference condemning the Ethiopian troops for the breach of international law they committed by invading Buhoodle. The elders spoke about the influence of international/foreign elements in Somalia and how they have capitalized on the clan divisions in Somalia. They demanded that the Ethiopian government halt its actions and stop meddling in the internal affairs and politics of Somalia.
Abdi Asis Afgudud, one of the elders who spoke to the reporters, stated that the elders were very upset by the massacre that occurred in the Sool & Ayn regions of Puntland and said offered the people of those regions their full support. The elders also called on the Puntland government to break their silence and speak out in support of their citizens in the Buhoodle district.
Puntland, established in 1998, has been a beacon of hope & stability in an otherwise troubled nation. In late 2009, the parliament approved a state flag, coat of arms & song. Some opponents of Puntland have used the introduction of the flag as “proof” of Puntlands true intentions ( secession from Somalia). This assumption, however, could not be further from the truth. Puntland has long championed the idea of federalism in Somalia and under the Transitional Charter of the Somali Republic, regional/state administrations are allowed to have their own regional identity (through the use of flags, songs, coat of arms etc).
Calanka Puntland ( The Puntland Flag):
Meaning of the flag:
Top: the blue stripe with the white star in the center symbolizes the Flag of Somalia
Center: the white stripe in the center represents peace and stability in the region
Bottom: the green stripe symbolizes the natural wealth of the Puntland State of Somalia
Astaanta Puntland ( The Puntland Coat of Arms):
Heesta Puntland ( Puntland State Anthem/Song):
Baro weeye nabadeed
Mawlahay ku beeroo
Barkhadbaa u hoyatee
Waa dhul beri-samaadloo
… Baaxaddiisu weyntoo
Macdan baa ka buuxdee
Boocamiyo Galdogob iyo
Badhan baa ku taallee
Boosaaso iyo Ayl
Baylaa ku taallee
Buuhoodlaa ku taallee
Xaafuun bidhaan wacan
Buuniga Qardho iyo
Ceerigaabo waad u bogi
Waa beyd nimcadu taal
Baahi laguma seexdoo
Barbarkaad u eegtaba
Waa wada baraaree
Rabbow noo badbaadi
BADBAADI…RABBOW NOO BADBAADI