News Release

Somali Piracy: Beyond the Caricatures


SADIA ALI ADEN, sadiaaden at
Aden is a human rights advocate, freelance writer and author of the recent piece “‘SSC’ is the Last Hope to Bridge Somalia Back Together.”

VIJAY PRASHAD, vijay.prashad at
Author of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World, Prashad is chair of South Asian history and director of international studies at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. He said today: “The disruption of the Indian Ocean includes the overfishing in its waters, the devastation by dumping of toxic waste, the problem of its militarization. When Vasco Da Gama came into the waters in 1498, he entered a world of demilitarized trade that linked China to Africa. The Portuguese ships inaugurated an era of violence that is now taken up not only by the warships of the U.S. and India, but also by the large trawlers and toxic waste ships. The Indian Ocean needs a long-term solution. In 1971, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution, making the Indian Ocean a ‘Zone of Peace.’ That resolution was renewed in 2007, but vetoed by the U.S. and France.”

See: “Blowback in Somalia” by Jeremy Scahill.

Note to producers: The schoolhouse rock-style song and video “Pirates and Emperors” — based on the Noam Chomsky book by the same title — may make a good musical lead-in: