23/11/08 (B475) Le journal de la flibuste …. La prise du super pétrolier interpelle toujours la communauté et les organisations internationales, au point de provoquer un accord USA – URSS (ce qui n’est pas si courant !) …. (5 dépêches en Français et en Anglais)

________________________________ 5 – AFP

Somalie: Russie et Etats-Unis vont oeuvrer à des mesures anti-piraterie

Le ministre des Affaires étrangères russe, Sergei Lavrov, a indiqué qu’il s’était entendu avec son homologue américaine, Condoleezza Rice, sur la nécessité d’accroître la lutte contre le “fléau” de la piraterie dans la région de la Somalie, ont rapporté les agences de presse russes samedi à Lima.

“Nous nous sommes entendus sur la nécessité de plus grands efforts, dans le cadre du Conseil de Sécurité des Nations unies, dans la lutte contre la piraterie. Il est nécessaire de réfléchir à ce que le Conseil pourrait faire”, a déclaré M. Lavrov.

“Il est nécessaire de faire tout ce qui est possible pour lutter contre ce fléau, pas seulement dans les eaux internationales mais en essayant de ramener l’ordre au large des côtes de Somalie, en coordination avec le gouvernement légitime de ce pays”, a-t-il ajouté.

“Nous sommes d’accord pour réfléchir à des mesures qui pourraient être instaurées dans cette optique”, a souligné M. Lavrov, en marge du sommet du forum de coopération économique Asie-Pacifique (Apec).

Ses commentaires surviennent alors que les présidents russe, Dmitri Medvedev, et américain, George W. Bush, devaient se retrouver pour une dernière et intense réunion bilatérale avant que ce dernier ne laisse la Maison Blanche à son successeur élu, Barack Obama.

La Russie entend envoyer plus de navires de guerre dans les eaux somaliennes pour lutter contre la piraterie, afin de garantir la sécurité des bateaux qui croisent dans cette région, a annoncé vendredi le porte-parole de la marine russe, Igor Digalo.

____________________ 4 – Afrol News (Erythrée) (En Anglais)

Le Ministre érythréen des A.E. accuse les USA d’être responsables de la “balkanisation” en cours en Somalie qui a ouvert la porte à tous les actes de piraterie. // Eritrea blames US for Somali piracy

The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement has blamed Washington’s alleged policy of “balkanising Somalia” for being the root cause behind piracy off the Somali coast, adding that breakaway Somaliland and Puntland must return to Somalia to create a forceful unit.

According to the official Eritrean statement, it is the US government that stands behind the political split currently experienced in Somalia. Somaliland – a former British colony uniting with Italian Somalia in 1960 but declaring independence again in 1991 – the autonomous region of Puntland, and other areas held by local warlords all were the product of “reckless” US policies aimed at splitting Somalia, the Asmara Ministry holds.

Also the serious problem of Somali piracy could therefore be blamed on Washington, Eritrea holds. “The main cause of this problem is the vacuum that has been created for the last 17 years in Somalia,” the statement said. “Sadly, an enduring solution is not conceivable until the reckless acts of the US and its surrogates aimed at balkanising Somalia, dividing its people along ethnic and clan lines … cease,” it adds.

“The solution lies, accordingly, in the liberation and reconstitution of a united and sovereign Somalia,” Asmara officials hold. “Unless and until the entire Somali people – whether they are in the so-called ‘Somali-land’, “Punt-land’, ‘Juba-land’ or ‘Benadir-land’ – extricate themselves from the malaise of fragmentation to bring about their own enduring solution by themselves, piracy and other deplorable activities will not indeed cease,” they add.

This is not the first time the Eritrean government calls for unity among “the entire Somali people.” Somalis also dominate large tracts of Ethiopia – Eritrea’s arch enemy – Kenya and Djibouti. It has been documented that Eritrea has sponsored and trained Somali secessionists in Ethiopia.

Eritrea further is actively involved in the fighting in Somalia, supporting one of the many splinter groups there. Eritrea, it has been documented, has trained and armed a militant Somali Islamist group which is blamed for attacks on the Somali transitional government, its Ethiopian allies and Somali civilians.

While itself intervening in Somalia arming extremist groups, Eritrean authorities cast doubt on the motives of several Western powers now getting involved in the fight against Somali piracy and that are sending naval forces to the Horn region. “Some might be motivated by sincere objectives. But for others, the situation provides a silver lining for illegal intervention,” the Eritrean Foreign Ministry claims.

________________________ 3 – Press TV (En Anglais)

Les tribunaux islamiques adressent un ulitmatum aux pirates pour qu’ils libèrent dans les 48 heures le super tanker saoudien. // Pirates face deadline to release tanker

Somalia’s oppositionists set 48-hour deadline for release of the Saudi oil tanker.

Somali oppositionists, the Union of Islamic Courts, impose a tight deadline for the release of a giant Saudi oil tanker by the pirates.

The spokesman for the opposition group, Abdi Rahim Isse Addow urged the pirates to release the vessel, named the Sirius Star, within the next 48 hours, Press TV correspondent in Somalia reported.

Having dared out of their turf in the Gulf of Aden, the pirates captured the 330-meter long Saudi-operated tanker and its 25 crewmembers southeast of the Kenyan port city of Mombasa on November 15.

The incident marks ‘the world’s biggest hijack’ given the Sirius Star’s imposing dimensions and its multimillion-liter cargo of oil.

We know the culprits’ whereabouts. Should they miss the deadline we would take action, said the spokesman.

He also accused the NATO, which has tasked its frigates with watching the area, of inaction in the standoff asking jokingly what were the NATO ships up to when the tanker waltzed into the danger zone? Searching for the WMDs inside the sea?

Commenting on the USD 25-million ransom money demanded by the pirates, Abdi Rahim said no country was able to afford the payment.

The oppositionists also urged the release of other ships by the bandits who currently hold around 17 vessels and 300 crewmembers.

The UIC warning comes as Al-Shabaab fighters affiliated to the group reportedly on Friday haunted the Somali port, Haradheere close to where the tanker is anchored seeking revenge on the pirates for their encroaching on a ‘Muslim property’.

“Saudi Arabia is a Muslim country and hijacking its ship is a bigger crime than other ships,” the UIC spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Recently, the pirates had been paid counterfeit ransom money which contaminated the business activities in the capital Mogadishu, the coastal port of Bossaso and Somaliland’s capital Hargeysa.

________________________________ 2 – Le Parisien

Somalie: les pirates du superpétrolier menacent

Les pirates somaliens à bord du superpétrolier saoudien Sirius Star riposteront à toute éventuelle intervention militaire pour les déloger, a déclaré samedi à l’AFP un membre de leur groupe depuis le village côtier de Harardhere.

«J’espère que le propriétaire du superpétrolier est suffisamment sage et n’autorisera pas le recours à l’option militaire parce que cela serait un désastre pour tout le monde.

Nous sommes là pour défendre le superpétrolier si nous sommes attaqués», a déclaré ce membre du groupe des pirates, Abdiyare Moalim.

Il s’est présenté comme l’un des pirates à terre chargé de rassembler des miliciens pour protéger la zone, alors que les négociations se poursuivent avec les propriétaires du Sirius Star, qui ont dix jours pour trouver une rançon de 25 millions de dollars réclamés par les pirates pour libérer le navire.

Des habitants ont pour pour leur part rapporté à l’AFP avoir vu des renforts rejoindre les pirates à bord du bateau.

«Tôt ce matin, j’ai vu au moins 10 pirates fortement armés se diriger vers le navire. Leur bateau est revenu après les avoir déposé», a déclaré un pêcheur Hassan Ahmed.

Une centaine de miliciens armés ont déjà convergé depuis jeudi sur Harardere, un petit port de pêche situé à environ 300 km au nord de Mogadiscio où le supertanker est ancré depuis mardi.

La capture du Sirius Star, long de 330 mètres et renfermant dans ses cales 300.000 tonnes de pétrole, est l’opération de piraterie la plus spectaculaire menée au large de la Somalie.

___________________ 1 – Shabelle avec VOA (En Anglais)

Le commissaire à la sécurité de l’UA lance un appel aux notables pour qu’ils fassent pression sur les pirates, afin que ceux-ci arrêtent de perturber le trafic commercial international. //AU Security Chief Urges Somali Elders to Call Off Pirates

Africa’s top peace and security official is appealing to Somalia’s elders to use their influence to stop the piracy that threatens commercial traffic through the strategic Gulf of Aden. From African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa,

AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra Friday called on the leaders of Somali society to persuade pirates operating off the coast of the Horn of Africa to stop hijacking ships for ransom. His appeal came as a Saudi vessel carrying $100 million in crude oil is anchored off the Somali coast in what is being called the world’s biggest hijack.

Somali pirates aboard the vessel are said to be demanding a $25 million ransom

AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping has called the surge of Somali piracy an extension of the anarchy and political chaos gripping the country. Lamamra told VOA it is up to Somali political and clan leaders to put a stop to it.

“We call on all Somalis with influence on the pirates to help us curb this phenomenon,” he said. “We believe that this is damaging to the Somali prospects for peace and cooperation and we think that all those who could have a positive influence under their solidarities that exist within Somali society should come in and tell these pirates that this is wrong. They have to stop it and stop it now.”

Lamamra was speaking at a ceremony where African Union and European Union officials signed a $300 million agreement that will lead to establishment of a permanent African standby force. The five-brigade military force will be operational within 18 months, giving the African Union the ability to respond rapidly to continental hot spots.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner signed for Europe, since France holds the rotating EU presidency. He told reporters the force is designed as a deterrent. But when asked about the action by an Indian navy ship to sink a pirate vessel this week off the Somali coast, he suggested such actions are acceptable.

“The Indian vessel defended itself, which is quite normal and according to international law,” he explained. “And yesterday a Saudi big tanker has been attacked, and the Saudi authorities, decided, so… So we want to act as deterrents, but you know they are heavily armed, heavily equipped with speedboats, etc., etc.”

Kouchner said in the meantime, a European Union naval task force would join the U.S. Russian and Indian ships that have been dispatched to the Somali coast to keep shipping lanes open.

“So for the time being seven nations regrouped in a British harbor, the port of Northwood, are ready to work together,” he added. “There is a strong effort between European Union defense and African defense, and locally, a large portion of the world, the navy ships would defend the cargo, the usual traffic for goods impossible to pass by without being threatened by attacks.”

Kouchner says the European ships would reach the Gulf of Aden sometime in December.

A communiqu issued Friday after an EU/AU leadership meeting also urged the United Nations to play a role in bringing stability to Somalia. In unusually pointed language, the statement said the two continental groupings ‘await with interest’ the U.N. Security Council plan for establishment of a multi-national stabilization force that could reinforce the beleaguered 3,400-strong African Union peacekeeping force currently in Somalia.

The Security Council has been reluctant to send a peacekeeping force to Somalia, with some diplomats arguing there is no peace to keep.

Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991, when warlords toppled a military dictator. The current U.N.-backed transitional government, formed in 2004, has been unable to protect the population while battling a powerful Islamist insurgency.