BERLIN | | somalia

BERLIN (Own report) - German government advisors are pleading for using submarines in the war on piracy at the Horn of Africa. Thanks to their "highly modern sensor technology," German submarines are not only capable of "covertly observing the pirates' vessels" and following their course, but also of "observing the pirates' potential bases both day and night," according to a statement just published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). The bases could therefore be attacked with greater precision, as the EU decided Friday - in spite of warnings that this could lead to a further escalation of the conflict in Somalia. Geostrategic considerations are at the core of the militarization projects, being promoted by the Bundeswehr. The Indian Ocean has become extremely important in global policy and it will play a pivotal role in future conflicts with China. Under no circumstances should the "new momentum in the greater region of the Indian Ocean" be neglected, warns the director of the SWP. Military strategists are underlining the importance of a strong naval presence in the ocean between Africa and Southeast Asia. more…

BERLIN | | somalia

BERLIN (Own report) - The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, is strongly criticizing naval deployment to fight piracy off the Horn of Africa. According to a discussion paper recently published by the Institute, military intervention cannot end piracy, because the necessary preventive measures - for example for shipping and insurance companies - run counter to western economic interests. These operations do not even have a significant deterrent effect. But, the establishment of a Somali coast guard could strike a decisive blow against piracy, something Germany rejects. The skepticism towards using mainly military means to counter piracy is shared also by a study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). To be successful, this SWP paper also promotes supplementing naval operations with land-based measures. According to this Institute, it cannot be "completely dismissed" that the quest for "controlling the Indian Ocean" played a central role in the decision for this expensive naval deployment. more…

MOGADISHU/BERLIN | | somalia

MOGADISHU/BERLIN (Own report) - The scandal caused by the planned dispatching of more than 100 German mercenaries to Somalia, is further evidence of the expansion of German private security companies. The CEO of the Asgaard German Security Group (based in Telgte, close to Muenster in North Rhine Westphalia) has confirmed that the company plans to dispatch a triple-digit sized group of armed personnel to Somalia to support a local warlord, who has declared himself the country's president. Whereas the German foreign ministry dissociates itself from the action, demands are growing in the West that alternatives be sought considering the policies of the EU and the USA toward Somalia to be fruitless. Activities of security companies, such as Asgaard, are intensifying abroad. They are cooperating on a regular basis with several foreign business associations, such as the German-Africa Business Association or the German-Iraqi Business Association (MIDAN), protecting German personnel in war and crisis zones. Berlin's Federal College for Security Studies is closely observing the development of this private industry of repression, which, according to its president, allows interventions that are "much less noticeable" than the usual military deployments. more…

BERLIN/MOGADISHU | | somaliachina

BERLIN/MOGADISHU (Own report) - The EU will expand its military operations against "pirates" at the Horn of Africa and train Somali soldiers for land combat missions. This was decided by the EU's foreign and defense ministers. According to their plan, Somali soldiers are to attack the "pirates" on the mainland, thereby depriving them of their bases of retreat. This plan signifies a further escalation of the war in Somalia, which since early 2007 has already cost 19,000 civilians their lives and forced 1.5 million to flee their homes. According to these plans, training will be carried out in Uganda, thereby implicating yet another East African nation in this conflict. On various occasions, Somali militias have threatened reprisals on countries, whose governments have openly taken sides in this conflict. Under pressure from the west, Kenya is also in danger of becoming implicated in this war. At the same time, the EU is expanding its zone of maritime intervention to include the Seychelles. A former head of the Policy and Planning Staff of the German Defense Ministry points out that the naval forces are operating in a region decisive for determining Asia's power constellation - the Indian Ocean. According to this retired Vice Admiral, not only "piracy" will be decided in this region, also the position China will hold in the future. more…

BERLIN/EYL | | somalia

BERLIN/EYL (Own report) - Berlin announced its decision to fire upon and sink pirate ships off the Horn of Africa. As the interior policy spokesperson of the conservative parliamentary group in the German Bundestag announced, in the case of attack, ships "must be immediately sunk on the high seas." The deployment of special commandos of the German federal police and military is in preparation. The German government has decided to "'take off the gloves' in the war on piracy". Until now, Berlin had considered sinking ships, inconvenient due to the danger of sinking fishing ships by mistake. While the naval mission is becoming more brutal, the extension of military intervention to the Somali mainland is also discussed this week. As the German Bundeswehr is extending its radius of operations, business representatives are saying that the threat to world trade posed by piracy is being exaggerated to the public. The cause of the buccaneering off the coast of Somalia is basically ignored: the West's induced deterioration in countries that elude western control. more…

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN | | aethiopiensomalia

ADDIS ABABA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government's reaction to serious war crimes committed by the Ethiopian Army is to intensify its collaboration with the Ethiopian government. On October 4, the German chancellor had extensive talks in Addis Ababa, also initiating new business deals for German enterprises. Government circles in Berlin consider Ethiopia as a "regional stabilizing force" in Eastern Africa and the two countries have been closely co-operating since 2005. The Ethiopian army is heavily criticized for its war conduct in Somalia, which it invaded at the end of 2006. Ethiopian troops are not only accused of attacking hospitals and executing civilians. They are also accused of using the occupation of their neighboring state to hunt down Ethiopian opponents, who fled to Somalia. From Ethiopia Angela Merkel continued her trip to South Africa (Oct. 5) and to Liberia (Oct. 6). This Africa trip is to reaffirm German claims to military control of the continent and a privileged share of its resources. more…

MOGADISHU/BERLIN | | aethiopiendjiboutisomalia

MOGADISHU/BERLIN (german-foreign-policy.com) - The German EU Council Presidency has announced aid for the Somali "transitional government" put in place by western powers, to finance a reconciliation conference. In accordance with the wishes of Berlin and Brussels, this conference will take place in Mogadishu in mid-April, with the intention of stabilizing the so-called transitional government, divide the opposition and therefore, in the long run, keep anti-western forces from regaining power in Somalia. This "transitional government" is but a civilian extension of the Ethiopian occupation forces, which provides the German government with new means of gaining influence. For several years, Germany has been extending its influence in Ethiopia and currently has an excellent position. If the Ethiopian occupation regime is a failure, it is expected that the country will irretrievable split along the lines of the former colonial borders. Germany had, years ago, already established its influence in the region of a potential secession called "Somaliland" by helping to build the infrastructure. more…

MOGADISHU/BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA | | aethiopiensomalia

MOGADISHU/BERLIN/ADDIS ABABA (Own report) - German politicians specializing in foreign policy are promising arms aid for deployment in Somalia. According to Berlin Somalia, which was attacked and occupied by Ethiopia, should be "pacified" with "at least 10,000 soldiers" of the African Union (AU). The continuing militarization is in the service of a so-called interim government (Transitional Federal Government, TFG), which collaborates with Ethiopia. It consists of Somali exiled politicians and was installed - with German accord - in Mogadishu by the invaders last December. Berlin has already supported the TFG in the past and grants the Ethiopian dictatorship technical, economic and military assistance. Ethiopia, whose government persecutes the national opposition with mass arrests, is considered a barrier against Islamic forces due to its Christian population, and is appreciated as a geopolitical outpost in the Horn of Africa. Off-shore German naval units assure security for one of the world's most important sea routes. Actually the entire region is subordinate to western military supervision. The Ethiopian occupation of Somalia clears obstacles, standing in the way of NATO military domination, and is part of the German-American agreements to secure resource supply routes. more…