• Germany's news in English

German warship thwarts Somali pirates

The Local · 4 Oct 2010, 10:51

Published: 04 Oct 2010 10:51 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The website of news magazine Der Spiegel reported that the frigate “Köln” received a distress call by a Liberian flagged ship on Sunday, sparking the Germans to launch a helicopter that stopped the assailants by firing warning shots.

The soldiers then searched the boat of the suspected pirates, but they had by that time thrown any damning evidence such as weapons overboard, making it impossible to arrest them.

The aborted attack took place in the Gulf of Aden off the northern coast of Somalia, where piracy has become rife.

The German forces are part of the EU anti-piracy initiative “Atalanta” operating in the region. The parliamentary mandate for this is set to expire in the middle of December.

Story continues below…

The Local/rm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:45 October 4, 2010 by Frenemy
Arrests? Shots across the bow??? What the hell for? If there was evidence that it was a pirate skiff, at the very least the boat should have been sunk.

I understand that its politically "complicated" for the German military to act like a real military, but this type of half-assed sh!t is precisely why no one takes German foreign policy seriously. All bark and no bite!
13:26 October 4, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
Unfortunately the people of Somalia are the only victims of this drama. The so called Somali pirates in essence have sought to protect their territorial waters which extend 200 nautical miles from the Somali Coast. That Somali has no effective government to speak of to enforce the nations rights has forced some of it's braver citizens to extract a toll from those who steal from the nations livelihood. This doesn't, however, excuse the Somalians from attacking ships outside their legal borders. It does mean, however, that the Germans, Russians, Chinese, the U.S. et al are in gross violation of international law by seeking to impose their will inside Somali waters, which ostensibly is where this fiasco took place.
13:43 October 4, 2010 by Frenemy
Actually, no.

In terms of "international law" (if you believe in such fantasies) the 200 miles rule pertains to what is known as an exclusive economic zone in which a STATE can exercise its autonomy. And as you so aptly pointed out, Somalia has no government, effectively making it a non-state/ungoverned territory (without any sort of economy worth mentioning, let alone protecting 200 miles out at sea!)
14:05 October 4, 2010 by William Thirteen
to the evidence of it being a pirate skiff

'The soldiers then searched the boat of the suspected pirates, but they had by that time thrown any damning evidence such as weapons overboard, making it impossible to arrest them.'

it might be also noted that one of the reasons that the locals are turning to piracy is that their traditional way of supporting themselves through fishing has been rendered profitless due to the overfishing of their coastal waters by fishing craft from china and other foreign nations.
14:33 October 4, 2010 by freechoice
dun be nasty, the pirates may have extra mouths to feed, who wants to be pirate when there are better alternatives? who will feed their kids if their dads were killed? definitely not your donation would be enough for millions of them.
15:16 October 4, 2010 by raandy
Who Cares??
15:42 October 4, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA

But, YES,

Only the people of Somalia can decide whether or not they have a government. While I and others may not like, approve or understand the present regime in Somalia, we have no legitimate right to interfere in her internal affairs. Somalia's internal affairs extend 200NM from her coastline.

Concerning the fantasy as you call it of international law, it is the salvation of a integrated civilized world.

It seems from your statements that you would rather all out barbarism.
16:14 October 4, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Ooooohs piratas .... ^^
16:53 October 4, 2010 by Major B
Nevertheless, hail to the crew of the Koln and the German contribution to Operation Atlanta. This is right and mostly just. I say mostly because a part of me agrees the overfishing by nations that depleted the waters of the super vast Somali coastline should have to pay some consequences. Won't throw out the names of the Asian nations that were a part of this but their shipping trade isn't imperiled by the Somalis. Guttengenius reduced the German participation months earlier. Wouldn't another German Frigate or other patrol vessels and/or aircraft be a fairer contribution?
18:54 October 4, 2010 by michael4096
"..German military to act like a real military.."

You mean like the indians? Didn't they make a mistake and sink the wrong boat? Or, is that what a real military does? A bit more more collateral damage, nothing a real military needs worry about?
00:43 October 5, 2010 by Frenemy
No, I mean like the North Koreans and sink the RIGHT boat (sub) :-p

My point here is that when you shoot at sh!t, you ought to kill/sink it (instead of expending ammo just to make a political statement)
02:03 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
As Somalia has no legitimate government, it has no claim to sovereignty within a 200 mile limit or a 20 mile limit. The Somali pirates are terrorists who need to be summarily dispatched to the great beyond whenever and wherever encountered.
08:10 October 5, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
To those mouth breathing shills who in arrogance claim that Somalia, whose people have a shared national identity predating the rise of Greece much less the rest of Europe, that these beautiful people have no claim to territorial sovereignty, you mouth breathing shills are the terrorists.

Stay the hell out of Somali waters.
09:08 October 5, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Shared national identity? My pet cats have more shared national identity than the people of Somalia.

By the way, what is a mouth-breathing shill?
12:12 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
FYI, the fact that the ship bears a Liberian flag doesn't mean that the crew of the ship are Liberians. Ships from all over the world are registered in Liberia to avoid taxes and safety inspections.

The testimony of eye witnesses to an attempted act of piracy would be given little legal weight without evidence of weapons in the hands of the pirates, who could claim that they were just fishing. That said, I think the pirates should have been blown out of the water.


Let the Somali government take up claims of encroachment of its territorial waters with the UN. Oh, that's right. There IS no Somali government.
12:38 October 5, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
@prufrock2010, frafruit, johnpaul44, frenemy, et al

Your vacuous fiat arguments have no currency amongst the intellgentsia

Your centuries old assertions of the fantasy of the "white man's burden" would make Hitler proud.

While all you talk tough, in the real world you have not the strength of wet toilet paper!
18:41 October 5, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I think in this instance, it would have been perfectly alright to just sink the bastards. Pirates really shouldn't expect any quarter from a nationally-flagged warship.
02:58 October 6, 2010 by JohnPaul44
I suggest that a couple of armed crewmen on the ship would have taken care of these pirates very nicely.
03:11 October 6, 2010 by Major B

What in the heck are you talking about? Look, come on. Intelligentisia? Who are they? Seems to me they get sidelined in history most of the time and don't get to have a say in real policy or decisions precisely because they hide behind their banal arguments, drinks and drugs, lacking the reall gusto and strength to get anything done. When they do get into power, witness, the neo-cons in the U.S. Bush administration, look at the ABSOLUTE DISASTERS their "so called intelligent" policies cause. But, I've overgeneralized somewhat.

One German frigate as part of a sanctioned EU and UN operation in the Indian ocean isn't at all a white man's burden kind of thing. The Somali situation is horrendous and why their intelligentisia has largely fled to Europe and the U.S. It is high time to STOP anging that Hitler stuff on the ultra modern Germany.
03:51 October 6, 2010 by JohnPaul44

I have read that among some primitive tribes, diplomacy consists of hurling insults at each other! Are you a Somali diplomat?
13:27 October 6, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
@majorb & johnpaul44

you both quickly prove my very point which though not grasped by less objective minds nevertheless stands correct

you don't even know whom the Intelligentsia are as the neo-cons certainly are not such, your so-called ultra modern Germany remains a racist state, without question

Democrats & Republicans hurl insults at each other all the time... are they prmitive tribes as well?

really j.p.44 you made the ignorant comment that your cats have more shared national identity than the people of Somalia, Yet you sit in comfort behind your computer smugly thinking that you are civilized, intelligent, ethical, moral, a human being in the literal sense of the word...you are none of these things

clearly you know nothing of the history of the Somalian people much less that of Africa save the false "white mans burden" version of history

as time permits I will continue to address the ignorance on this site!
19:00 October 6, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

Yes, we're all very grateful that you are willing to use your immensely valuable time to dispel the ignorance among our peasantry.

Well, actually, we aren't.

May I suggest instead that your comments are immensely arrogant, biased, lacking in reasoning and facts, and just generally an eye sore?

As time permits, I will continue to address your obvious character faults.
21:12 October 6, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
@der grenadier aus aachen

my comments are not in the least lacking in reasoning or facts, though I'm quite pleased that they leave you uncomfortable

the point is, foreign nations should stay out of Somali waters, if they don't like what's going on inside Somalia

it's seems perfectly o.k. for Israel to act fatally outside of it's legal boundaries without suffering any type likewise sanctioned fatal retaliation

so while all you impotent cocks rub oil on each other screaming death to the pirates you should know that your 5th grade rants are not appreciated by all
22:16 October 6, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen

You're missing a vital fact here. Foreign nations aren't entering Somali waters for the fun of it. Somali pirates are attacking foreign-flagged vessels in *international* waters.

The 200nm practice applies to Economic Exclusion Zones, which relates to mineral and fishing rights - not peaceable transit. No nation has a right to refuse peaceable transit outside of the 12nm barrier. That aside, all of the current rebel "governments", if you want to give them that kind of clout, as well as the authorities recognized by the UN, recognize the peaceable transit right.

Therefore, these actions are pirate attacks on nationally flagged vessels and subject to law of the sea. Which is quite precise on the matter - you can attack and sink them anytime you like.

Hence, yes, your arguments lack reasoning and fact. I would advise that before you start arguing specifics with me, you get a much better education and drop the attitude, because I am much, much smarter than you are.
23:19 October 6, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
@ der grenadier aus aachen

I have missed no vital fact. Assuming that you read my original statement in which I clearly stated that Somalis have no legal right in attacking ships outside their borders. So what did I miss?

Concerning Economic Exclusion Zones, peaceable transit, etc. Somalia is in a state of internal strife. One cannot physically go into a war zone and expect peace. There are no German ships attacking European vessels stealing the livelihoods of Somalians or the nations of the West African States.

You should refrain from attributing statements to me which I didn't make. I never said the current rebels are the Government of Somalia.

You have not directly or correctly addressed any of my arguments. Having failed to do so your in no position call me unreasonable or anything less than credible. And you little girl are the one who sought to address me, you vainly started arguing specifics with me. Very typical how you try to spin it around.

You claim to be "much, much smarter than" me? Is that how you express your intelligence? "I am much, much smarter than you are"

Thats exactly what I'm talking about you illiterate, ignorant 5th grader.

If you have the intellectual fortitude to go back and indisputably find logical, ethical, moral incoherence in any of the statements I've made, then you and your pals may actually be cognizant.

Until the oceans are dry and such time comes to pass you mouth breathing shills should do your shilling somewhere else.
00:42 October 7, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
"While I and others may not like, approve or understand the present regime in Somalia, we have no legitimate right to interfere in her internal affairs. Somalia's internal affairs extend 200NM from her coastline."

Yeeeaaah, that would actually imply that you seem to think Somali *do* have a right to attack inside that area.

See, your problem is actually quite common. You are so completely blinded by hatred of everything that is western, that you tend to overstate your positions a bit, and then get lost in logical fallacies. I can completely understand it; I've dealt with a lot of people like you in my life. But, let me try to give a couple of words of advice anyway, and then I'll be done with you.

1) The Western World is not a big, evil thing that wants to extinguish the Somalis, the Palestinians, the...whatever other disadvantaged minorities you pulled out in those rants up there. Fact is, things like piracy and suicide bombings are just not ok, no matter what anyone else might have done to you, and if you do it, you should expect massive retaliatory force.

2) Your argument about White Man's Burden in this context is completely invalid. Pirates. Ok? You get that? Pirates. As in, people attacking innocent merchant shipping. It would have been better to just blow them up and be done with it. Nobody gives a damn about the history of Somalia in this context, or whatever else you brought up. Piracy is punishable by death on the high seas.

3) No one is in violation of any international law, as per your original statement. It is the right, and as per international law, in some circumstances, the duty of any war ship to engage and destroy pirates. And yes, that includes inside the territorial or EEZ waters of another nation, if that nation is unable to engage them themselves. However, this engagement did not take place in their territorial waters. So, your statement is pointless anyway.

Now, please, just go away.
00:49 October 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Amen to that.
01:17 October 7, 2010 by JohnPaul44

If the pirates are, as you say, "brave citizens" of Somalia and not criminals, then their attacks on merchant shipping are ACTS OF WAR and under international law, the victims have a "right" to retaliate, invade and wipe the pathetic little country off the map!

I took your suggestion and learned a little about the history of Somalia. It is not pretty. The colonial powers which you hate so much, far from "stealing" from the people, were forced to pour many millions of dollars of subsidies into the country just to keep it alive. Talk about the "white man's burden"! Somalia certainly was that. If it were not for the colonial powers, Somalia and its people would have died out long ago!

I still say that my pet cats have more shared national identity that the squabbling rabble of Somalia. I suggest that you learn a little about the country's history!
01:34 October 7, 2010 by HANNIBAL-BARCA
@der granadier aus aachen, jp44, whoever else...

Are you serious? Is that really your argument, that I'm so completely blinded by hatred of everything western, therefore it follows?

Again I'm pleased to see you all so riled up, however, none of you have presented an objective fact based juxtaposition to anything I've said.

Your statements only prove my point concerning you gents in particular; you have not the strength of wet toilet paper, you have no intellectual fortitude, you have no knowledge of the history of Somalia, much less Africa.

Now you all stick to oiling each others cocks rather than address me. In truth, you are beneath me!
01:37 October 7, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Friend, I'm fairly certain you're the only one that's riled up about anything, as is demonstrated by your constant use of obscenity. For my part, I'm mainly just amused, but I can't speak for others.

Whoops, I told myself I was done with this. Oh well.
01:59 October 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Don't feed the trolls, Grenadier.
02:03 October 7, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Point taken.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd