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When Governments Turn to Piracy
Strategy Page ^ | February 12, 2006

Posted on 02/12/2006 4:06:59 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4

Sometimes, governments carry out acts of piracy. A case occurred last month when a Ukrainian ship, carrying fifteen Belgian Pandur wheeled armored vehicles, on loan to UN peacekeeping troops from Benin, stopped at a port in Equatorial Guinea. There, on January 3rd, officers from the Equatorial Guinean navy boarded the ship, arrested the four Beninese soldiers guarding the vehicles (and other military equipment). Shortly there after, the stuff the Beninese soldiers were guarding was removed from the ship. The Ukrainian ship was actually carrying a hundred vehicles for the UN, all painted white, with UN markings. The UN is trying to get Equatorial Guinea to explain what is going on, and get the vehicles and equipment back. The Ukrainian ship and its 23 man crew is still being held. Belgium had loaned all that gear to the UN, and insists that the UN get it back.

This sort of thing is not unusual for Equatorial Guinea. Last year, Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, was forced to pay Equatorial Guinea a $500,000 fine to get out of the country. Thatcher had earlier been arrested and charged with attempting to overthrow the government. There's certainly a need for that. Equatorial Guinea has been ruled, since 1979, by dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (who inherited the job from his uncle, via a coup.) Obiang has grown increasingly paranoid and unstable of late. That's because oil was discovered in the 1990s, and that produced more money than has ever been seen before in the tiny country of only 600,000 people. Obiang has stolen most of the $700 million in annual oil income, handing out enough of it to cronies to keep himself in power. But, in a situation like that, who can you really trust? So when a ship comes by, with a hundred UN peacekeeper vehicles on deck (worth some $20 million), what do you do? After all, the army of Equatorial Guinea consists of only three battalions, and the stuff on the ship would equip one of those battalions with better gear then they have now.

In any event, it's not uncommon for government officials to collaborate with pirates. In the last decade, it's happened in China and Southeast Asia, and elsewhere as well. The dictator of Equatorial Guinea is carrying on an ancient tradition, that still lives on today. UN leader Kofi Annan has been in touch with Obiang, and has admitted that this has not produced any results. Obiang has the stuff, and the UN has admitted they are short of peacekeeping troops in Africa. There's going to be a temptation to just look the other way, warn ships to be careful when entering the area, and move on. The situation in Equatorial Guinea is likely to resolve itself, as Obiang appears to be losing control, and members of his armed forces apparently want to get their hands on the oil money bank accounts. The United States has long protested the corruption in Equatorial Guinea, actually closing its embassy from 1995 to 2003 because of the atrocities committed by the government. The United States has dealt with this sort of thing before, as the U.S. Marine Corps hymn points out ("..to the shores of Tripoli.") But Equatorial Guinea is a miniature version of Iraq, and who needs another dysfunctional country to repair.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: equatorialguinea; pirates; un; wheeledarmor
"Dude, Where's My Pandur?"
1 posted on 02/12/2006 4:07:00 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

We don't do piracy here. We use the IRS.


2 posted on 02/12/2006 4:16:13 PM PST by Enterprise (The MSM - Propaganda wing and news censorship division of the Democrat Party.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Yea, so what's the UN going to do about it? Thought so.


3 posted on 02/12/2006 4:18:53 PM PST by SampleMan
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

The Belgians can kiss these vehicles goodbye. The Un has 2 chances of getting them back --slim and none. What are they going to do? Threaten them? Bwahahaaha thats a joke. UN threats are laughable.


4 posted on 02/12/2006 4:19:44 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: SampleMan

"Yea, so what's the UN going to do about it? Thought so." SampleMan

Wonder what kind of Whine the UN will have with that cheese?


5 posted on 02/12/2006 4:24:51 PM PST by PROSOUTH ( Deo Vindice "God Will Vindicate")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
The UN needs to get tough with Equatorial Guinea by passing resolutions until the vehicles are returned!
6 posted on 02/12/2006 4:26:06 PM PST by Man50D
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
he United States has long protested the corruption in Equatorial Guinea, actually closing its embassy from 1995 to 2003

This does not surprise me. What is amazing that US government was able to find diplomats willing to work there before 1995 and after 2003.

7 posted on 02/12/2006 4:26:52 PM PST by A. Pole (If outsourcing is such a good thing, why don't the executives outsource their own jobs overseas?)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Do it the old fashioned way, revenge. Send an "ailing" ship in while the crew departs and explode the ship in the harbor.


8 posted on 02/12/2006 4:28:46 PM PST by jwh_Denver (Liberals is where insanity and lies get together and party.)
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To: All
A July 2003 article from the BBC [6] points out there are no daily newspapers in the country and described how a Fang program called "Bidze-Nduan" ("Bury the Fire") on a widely listened-to state radio station declared that Obiang was "in permanent contact with the Almighty"; a presidential aide on the show also said:

"He (Obiang) can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, and who gives him this strength."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equatorial_Guinea

Not that I trust BBC much more than media in Equatorial Guinea :) but this report might be true.

9 posted on 02/12/2006 4:32:38 PM PST by A. Pole (If outsourcing is such a good thing, why don't the executives outsource their own jobs overseas?)
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To: A. Pole
What is amazing that US government was able to find diplomats willing to work there before 1995 and after 2003.

And they have a nice web page there: U.S. Embassy Malabo, Equatorial Guinea

National Day Message from President Bush
Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to you and the people of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea as you celebrate your national day on October 12.

The people of the United States look forward to forging an even closer relationship with the people of Equatorial Guinea in the coming year.

Sincerely,
George W. Bush

10 posted on 02/12/2006 4:37:55 PM PST by A. Pole (If outsourcing is such a good thing, why don't the executives outsource their own jobs overseas?)
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To: A. Pole
Red Chinese media might be true, too.
11 posted on 02/12/2006 4:39:23 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

Belgium is worse than the UN. They are both hopeless.


12 posted on 02/12/2006 4:39:34 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero
More Comments
13 posted on 02/12/2006 4:55:49 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cicero

I am sure the Equatorial Guineans are quaking in their boots at the thought of retribution from the fierce Belgians.


14 posted on 02/12/2006 5:00:58 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
In any event, it's not uncommon for government officials to collaborate with pirates. In the last decade, it's happened in China and Southeast Asia...

China was engaged in piracy? I remember something about them protecting Scaramanga, but I thought 007 took care of that situation.

15 posted on 02/12/2006 5:02:19 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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Equatorial Guinea
16 posted on 02/12/2006 5:08:05 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: struwwelpeter
loading.....

17 posted on 02/12/2006 5:12:54 PM PST by devolve (<-- (-in a manner reminiscent of Senator Gasbag F. Kohnman-)
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To: Cicero
Wasn't Marc Vlaminck Belgian?
18 posted on 02/12/2006 5:23:06 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

"uncommon for government officials to collaborate with pirates. In the last decade, it's happened in China"


I seem to remember something about this. Wasn't a fellow named Clinton involved?


19 posted on 02/12/2006 5:24:08 PM PST by kublia khan (Absolute war brings total victory)
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To: struwwelpeter; potlatch; PhilDragoo; ntnychik; Liz; Lady Jag; Zacs Mom; smoothsailing; ...


GoldenGun.mp3

 mp3 THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN mid


20 posted on 02/12/2006 5:52:00 PM PST by devolve (<-- (-in a manner reminiscent of Senator Gasbag F. Kohnman-)
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To: devolve

A three BUMP salute!!

21 posted on 02/12/2006 6:34:14 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: devolve

BTTT!


22 posted on 02/12/2006 7:26:44 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4

I hate pirates, but...
I hate the United Nations.

this presents me with a moral dilemma.


23 posted on 02/13/2006 3:39:22 AM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: devolve

nice "Ghost" gif... who did it? who besides me remembers that particular 'indie' comic?

24 posted on 02/13/2006 3:40:58 AM PST by King Prout (many accuse me of being overly literal... this would not be a problem if many were not under-precise)
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To: King Prout
I like pirates better. At least they are honest about being thieves.

The bloody dictator of Equitorial Guinea is not a real pirate, either. He is going to use those Pandurs on somebody.

25 posted on 02/13/2006 6:04:25 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
He is going to use those Pandurs on somebody.

Or sell them

26 posted on 02/13/2006 6:05:08 AM PST by A. Pole (Evolution has demonstrated that the optimal IQ is the average IQ !)
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To: A. Pole
Maybe, but he gets plenty of money from the oil companies, so I tend to believe he seized them for his own use because nobody would sell him any. Those vehicles could change the balance of power in the region. They're already in the wrong hands.

I don't see the UN or Belgium doing much about it.

27 posted on 02/13/2006 7:06:19 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Our enemies act on ecstatic revelations from their god. We act on the advice of lawyers.)
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