ASMARA, Eritrea -- One of the best kept secrets in the
international media these days is the link between the USA, Ethiopia and the
Somali pirates. First, a little reliable background from someone on the ground
in the Horn of Africa.
The Somali pirates operate out of the Ethiopian and USA created
enclaves in Somalia calling themselves Somaliland and Puntland. These Ethiopian
and USA backed warlord controlled territories have for many years hosted
Ethiopian military bases, which have been greatly expanded recently by the
addition of thousands of Ethiopian troops who were driven out of southern and
central Somali by the Somali resistance to the Ethiopian invasion.
After securing their ransom for the hijacked ships the
Somali pirates head directly to their local safe havens, in this case, the Ethiopian
military bases, where they make a sizeable contribution to the retirement
accounts of the Ethiopian regime headed by Meles Zenawi.
Of course, the international naval forces who are patrolling
the Horn of Africa know all too well what is going on for they have at their
disposal all sorts of high tech observation platforms, ranging from satellites
to unmanned drones with high resolution video cameras that report back in real
The French commandos started to pursue the Somali pirates
into their lairs last year until the pirates got the word that for the right
amount of cash they were more than welcome in the Ethiopian military bases in
their local neighborhoods. Ethiopia being the western, mainly USA, Cop on the
Beat in East Africa put these bases off limits to the frustrated navies of the
world, who are no doubt growling in anger to their USA counterparts about why
this is all going on.
Now that the pirates have started attacking USA flagged
shipping, something that was until now off limits, it remains to be seen what
the Obama administration will do. One thing we in the Horn of Africa have
learned all too well, when it comes to Ethiopia, don�t expect anything
resembling accurate coverage by the media, especially those who operate under
the cloak of �freedom of the press.�
Stay tuned for more on this from the Onlinejournal.com, the
only site willing to expose the truth on matters no one else will touch.
Thomas C. Mountain, the last white man living in
Eritrea, was in a former life an educator, activist and alternative medicine
practitioner in the USA. Email thomascmountain at yahoo.com.