Dez minutos de reflexão

por D. em sábado, 23 de maio de 2009

Esta semana tive a oportunidade de na Courrier Internacional do mês de Maio, ler o texto que vou deixar em baixo. O texto deixa-nos com uma sensação de incredulidade, depois merece uma reprovação, depois vai simplesmente deixando que se pense nele e no que nele se diz. Não foram na realidade dez minutos de reflexão porque ainda hoje estou a pensar sobre isto e a tentar descobrir mais e a tentar perceber se de facto os piratas fazem o que fazem por causa da situação descrita, ou se nem sequer sabem disso e fazem apenas porque precisam de arranjar comida em qualquer lugar. E isto também porque o Direito Internacional cada vez mais se assemelha a um tabuleiro de xadrez onde as peças são interesses e onde as soluções parecem demorar ou não acontecer.


Why We Don’t Condemn Our Pirates

Can anyone ever really be for piracy? Outside of sea bandits, and
young girls fantasizing of Johnny Depp, would anyone with an honest regard
for good human conduct really say that they are in support of Sea Robbery?
Well in Somalia, the answer is: it's complicated. The news media these days has been covering piracy in the Somali coast, with such lop-sided journalism, that it's lucky they're not on a ship themselves. It's true that the constant hijacking of vessels in the Gulf of Aden is a major threat to the vibrant trade rouet between Asia and Europe. It is also true that for most of the pirates operating in this vast shoreline, money is
the primary objective. But according to so many Somalis,
the disruption of Europe's darling of a trade rout, is just Karma
biting a perpetrator in the butt. And if you don't believe in Karma,
maybe you believe in recent history. Here is why we Somalis find
ourselves slightly shy of condemning our pirates.

Somalia has been without any form of a functioning government
since 1991. And although its failures, like many other toddler
governments in Africa, sprung from the wells of post colonial
independence, bad governance and development loan sharks,
the specific problem of piracy was put in motion in 1992. After
the overthrow of Siyad Barre, our charmless dictator of twenty
some odd years, two major forces of the Hawiye Clan came to
power. At the time, Ali Mahdi, and General Mohamed Farah Aidid,
the two leaders of the Hawiye rebels were largely considered liberators.
But the unity of the two men and their respective sub-clans was very
short-lived. It's as if they were dumbstruck at the advent of ousting the
dictator, or that they just forgot to discuss who will be the leader of the
country once they defeated their common foe. A disagreement
of who will upgrade from militia leader to Mr. President broke up
their honeymoon. It's because of this disagreement that we've seen one
of the most decomposing wars in Somalia's history, leading to millions
displaced and hundreds of thousands dead. But war is expensive
and militias need food for their families, and Jaad (an amphetamine-based stimulant) to stay awake for the fighting. Therefore a good clan
based Warlord must look out for his own fighters. Aidid's men turned to
robbing Aid trucks carrying food to the starving masses, and reselling it
to continue their war. But Ali Mahdi had his sights set on a larger and
more unexploited resource, namely: the Indian Ocean.

Already by this time, local fishermen in the coastline of Somalia
have been complaining of illegal vessels coming to Somali
waters and stealing all the fish. And since there was no government to
report it to, and since the severity of the violence clumsily overshadowed
every other problem, the fishermen went completely unheard. But it
was around this same time that a more sinister, a more patronizing practice
was being put in motion. A Swiss firm called Achair Parterns, and an Italian waste company called Progresso, made a deal with Ali Mahdi, that they were to dump containers of waste material in Somali waters. These European companies were said to be paying Warlords about $3 a ton, where as
in to properly dispose of waste in Europe costs about $1000 a ton.

In 2004, after Tsunami washed ashore several leaking containers, thousand of locals in the Puntland region of Somalia started to complain of severe and previously unreported ailments, such as abdominal bleeding, skin melting off and a lot of immediate cancer-like symptoms. Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environmental Program, says that the containers had many different kinds of waste, including "Uranium, radioactive waste, lead, cadmium, mercury and chemical waste." But this wasn't just a passing evil from one or two groups taking advantage of our unprotected waters, the UN Convoy for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, says that the practice still continues to this day. It was months after those initial reports that local fishermen mobilized themselves, along with street militias, to go into the waters and deter the Westerners from having a free pass at completely destroying Somalia's aquatic life. Now years later, the deterring has become less noble, and the ex-fishermen with their militias have begun to develop a taste for ransom at sea. This form of piracy is now a major contributor to the Somali economy, especially in the very region that private toxic waste companies first began to burry our nation's death trap.

Now Somalia has upped the world's pirate attacks by over21 percent in one year, and while NATO and the EU are both sending forces to the Somali coast to try and slow down the attacks, Black Water and all kinds of private security firms are intent on cashing in. But while Europeans are well in their right to protect their trade interest in the region, our pirates were the only deterrent we had from an externally imposed environmental disaster. No one can say for sure that some of the ships they are now holding for ransom were not involved in illegal activity in our waters. The truth is, if you ask any Somali, if getting rid of the pirates only means the continuous rape of our coast by unmonitored Western Vessels, and the producing of a new cancerous generation, we would all fly our pirate flags high.

It is time that the world gave the Somali people some assurance that these Western illegal activities will end, if our pirates are to seize their operations. We do not want the EU and NATO serving as a shield for these nuclear waste-dumping hoodlums. It seems to me that this new modern crises, is truly a question of justice, but also a question of who's justice. As is apparent these days, one man's pirate, is another man's coast guard.


O texto foi escrito por K’naan, rapper somáli, e embora o som não me agrade minimamente, as letras compensam pelo conteúdo político (pelo menos as que ouvi).

3 comentários

Podemos classificar as informações no minimo como chocantes, e questiono-me onte está a ajuda internacional em questões como esta.

by Zenhas Mesquita on 23 de maio de 2009 às 18:12. #

de qualquer forma, não torna desculpável a pirataria somali.
até porque a pirataria nesta zona é uma prática antiga, e os piratas somalis não são, nem de perto nem de longe, heróicos ambientalistas.

eles assaltam propriedade privada, com recurso a armas de fogo, apenas para ganho próprio.

as práticas corruptas de um senhor da guerra e algumas empresas sem-escrúpulos não explica nem sequer 1% do fenómeno, e não são uma desculpa válida.

até porque muita gente que viu os seus carregamentos e as suas mercadorias capturadas e tripulação refém por piratas não tem culpa alguma dessas corruptelas.

quanto às empresas de segurança privadas:
se, como o dito rapper afirma, esta é a forma de o povo somali reagir à "exploração" da sua faixa costeira, acho justo que as empresas assegurem a segurança dos seus bens. a responsabilidade e o interesse pela segurança do povo somali é da ONU e das ONG's, a política nacional da Somália é assunto dos somalis.

by Manuel Pinto de Rezende on 23 de maio de 2009 às 21:43. #

"a responsabilidade e o interesse pela segurança do povo somali é da ONU e das ONG's, a política nacional da Somália é assunto dos somalis."... Se o que ele diz é verdade, então a ONU ou é cega, ou é surda ou simplesmente não se interessa assim tanto.

by Daniela Ramalho on 23 de maio de 2009 às 23:30. #