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VOA标准英语2008年-Horn of Africa Piracy Spurs International Actio

时间:2008-11-21 01:05来源:互联网 提供网友:tingroomm   字体: [ ]

Maritime1 specialists say a surge in pirate attacks on ships between Somalia and Yemen is affecting global commerce and they are urging the international community to quickly find a solution to the crisis. As VOA Correspondent Alisha Ryu reports from our East Africa Bureau in Nairobi, what began as a group of Somali fishermen trying to protect their territorial2 waters has evolved into a sophisticated, multi-million-dollar criminal business.
Yemeni coast guard patrol in the Gulf3 of Aden (file)

The head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy4 reporting center, Noel Choong, tells VOA that he and his staff are overwhelmed by the number of calls the center is receiving every day.

"Our hands are full," Noel Choong. "We have so much work here, you know. A lot of ships are being attacked. We have so many ships calling in for help."

The International Maritime Bureau, based in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, used to focus most of its attention on activities taking place in the pirate-infested waters off Singapore and in the Malacca Strait near Indonesia.

Choong says the piracy problem there is small now, compared to the problem in waters off the coast of Somalia - particularly in the Gulf of Aden - a narrow, 885 kilometer-long stretch of water that lies between Yemen and Somalia. The waterway is considered vital for global commerce because it provides the shortest maritime route from the Far East to Europe.

This year, more than 50 commercial ships and private vessels6 have been attacked in Somali waters. The majority of those attacks have taken place in the Gulf of Aden. Eleven vessels, including a South Korean cargo7 ship seized by pirates in the area last Wednesday, have been hijacked8 in the past six weeks.

The head of the Seafarers' Assistance Program in Mombasa, Kenya, Andrew Mwangura, says the alarming increase in Somali pirate activity is being fueled by enormous ransoms10 being paid for the release of seized vessels and their crew.

On average, ship owners are paying more than $1 million per vessel5. Mwangura says the potential for riches through piracy has lured11 a legion of poor young men to join various pirate groups that have been operating in Somalia since the fall of the country's last functioning government in 1991.

"In the past five or six years, there were less than 100," said Andrew Mwangura But now, we have information that there are between 1,100 and 1,200."

One of the first pirate groups, the National Volunteer Coast Guard based near the southern town of Kismayo, was established by a group of fishermen who used guns and speedboats to chase away vessels they believed were illegally fishing and waste-dumping in Somali territorial waters.

The group, then, began seizing the vessels and demanding ransom9, spawning12 a lucrative13 pirate industry along the country's eastern coastline.

Pirate activities in Somalia stopped briefly14 in 2006 under the Islamic Courts Union, the group that seized power from Mogadishu-based factional leaders and quickly gained popular support by restoring law and order in many parts of the country. A ban on piracy was strictly15 enforced.

As the Islamic courts began consolidating16 under the control of militants17, neighboring Ethiopia, with the support of the United States, intervened in December 2006, ousting18 the Islamic Courts Union and installing a secular19 - but deeply unpopular transitional government.

That move sparked a bloody20 Islamist-led insurgency21 in Mogadishu and elsewhere. Acts of piracy also began to rise, especially off the coast of Somalia's northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Rampant22 piracy hampered23 deliveries of much-needed aid to millions of Somalis caught in a prolonged drought and in the insurgents24' war with Ethiopian and Somali troops.

Many Somalis believe a powerful syndicate of factional leaders and businessmen runs the piracy operation in the country. The syndicate, with bases in Kenya and in the United Arab Emirates, is said to be using the bulk of the ransom money to fund a variety of operations, including drug and weapons smuggling25 and human trafficking.

There have also been reports that a portion of the money is being diverted to a homegrown, al-Qaida-linked Islamist group called the Shabab. Maritime specialist Andrew Mwangura says he also has credible26 information that the syndicate is sharing some of the spoils with high-ranking Somali officials.

"Some officials within the government of Somalia, as well as some Puntland authorities, are part of the activities of pirates in Somalia," he said. "So, both parties are gaining something from this commercial crime."

The cost of sending ships through the Gulf of Aden has increased 10-fold in recent months because of soaring insurance premiums27. Noel Choong at the International Maritime Bureau says he fears pirates could eventually shut down one of the world's busiest and most important transport routes.

"Before it gets out of hand, someone has to step in to control because the pirates are going out, attacking the ships and bringing them back," said Noel Choong. "There is no deterrent28 at all."

Earlier this month, allied29 naval30 forces responsible for maritime security in the region announced they would increase their presence in the Gulf of Aden. Combined Task Force 150, which includes the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Pakistan, and several other allied countries, says the new campaign will provide a more concentrated look at who comes and goes in the area.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, Lieutenant31 Stephanie Murdock, acknowledges that the task force is facing a huge challenge in their vast area of operation.

"It extends pretty much from the Gulf of Oman through the Arabian Sea, through the Gulf of Aden, through the Red Sea," said Lieutenant Murdock. "Now, that is a very large expanse of water. We have ships that cover a number of different missions while they are there. It is not just piracy. We are also covering drug smuggling, human trafficking, and any other destabilizing activities. So, we always respond to distress32 calls from mariners33 and we have set up a more focused area. But there are going to be times when a coalition34 asset cannot get to a ship because the distance is just that great."



1 maritime 62yyA     
  • Many maritime people are fishermen.许多居于海滨的人是渔夫。
  • The temperature change in winter is less in maritime areas.冬季沿海的温差较小。
2 territorial LImz4     
  • The country is fighting to preserve its territorial integrity.该国在为保持领土的完整而进行斗争。
  • They were not allowed to fish in our territorial waters.不允许他们在我国领海捕鱼。
3 gulf 1e0xp     
  • The gulf between the two leaders cannot be bridged.两位领导人之间的鸿沟难以跨越。
  • There is a gulf between the two cities.这两座城市间有个海湾。
4 piracy 9N3xO     
  • The government has already adopted effective measures against piracy.政府已采取有效措施惩治盗版行为。
  • They made the place a notorious centre of piracy.他们把这地方变成了臭名昭著的海盗中心。
5 vessel 4L1zi     
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
6 vessels fc9307c2593b522954eadb3ee6c57480     
n.血管( vessel的名词复数 );船;容器;(具有特殊品质或接受特殊品质的)人
  • The river is navigable by vessels of up to 90 tons. 90 吨以下的船只可以从这条河通过。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • All modern vessels of any size are fitted with radar installations. 所有现代化船只都有雷达装置。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
7 cargo 6TcyG     
  • The ship has a cargo of about 200 ton.这条船大约有200吨的货物。
  • A lot of people discharged the cargo from a ship.许多人从船上卸下货物。
8 hijacked 54f3e68c506e45e75f9a155a27738c2f     
劫持( hijack的过去式和过去分词 ); 绑架; 拦路抢劫; 操纵(会议等,以推销自己的意图)
  • The plane was hijacked by two armed men on a flight from London to Rome. 飞机在从伦敦飞往罗马途中遭到两名持械男子劫持。
  • The plane was hijacked soon after it took off. 那架飞机起飞后不久被劫持了。
9 ransom tTYx9     
  • We'd better arrange the ransom right away.我们最好马上把索取赎金的事安排好。
  • The kidnappers exacted a ransom of 10000 from the family.绑架者向这家人家勒索10000英镑的赎金。
10 ransoms 91a64a68d03cd2a87da322909b9f09b7     
付赎金救人,赎金( ransom的名词复数 )
  • The kidnappers exacted ransoms for their hostages. 绑匪勒索人质的赎金。
  • Hotel:Wealthy captives sleep at the hotel for an increase in their ransoms. 酒店:富有的俘虏们要住在酒店等待足够的赎金以回家。
11 lured 77df5632bf83c9c64fb09403ae21e649     
  • The child was lured into a car but managed to escape. 那小孩被诱骗上了车,但又设法逃掉了。
  • Lured by the lust of gold,the pioneers pushed onward. 开拓者在黄金的诱惑下,继续奋力向前。
12 spawning e223115a66b2213a16c438abb9a400cb     
  • Encounter sites have a small chance of spawning a "Commander" NPC. 遭遇战地区有很小的几率遇到NPC指挥官。
  • Instantly revives your Champion at your Spawning Pool, 9 minute cooldown. 立即在出生地复活你的英雄,冷却时间9分钟。
13 lucrative dADxp     
  • He decided to turn his hobby into a lucrative sideline.他决定把自己的爱好变成赚钱的副业。
  • It was not a lucrative profession.那是一个没有多少油水的职业。
14 briefly 9Styo     
  • I want to touch briefly on another aspect of the problem.我想简单地谈一下这个问题的另一方面。
  • He was kidnapped and briefly detained by a terrorist group.他被一个恐怖组织绑架并短暂拘禁。
15 strictly GtNwe     
  • His doctor is dieting him strictly.他的医生严格规定他的饮食。
  • The guests were seated strictly in order of precedence.客人严格按照地位高低就座。
16 consolidating 6c04b889a235c3f1fd1ba84bc5ca1f80     
v.(使)巩固, (使)加强( consolidate的现在分词 );(使)合并
  • These measures are meant for consolidating the system of basic medical care. 这些举措旨在夯实基层医疗体系,让老百姓看大病不必出远门。 来自互联网
  • We are consolidating the Chinese and English versions of our homepage. 我们将为您提供中英文版本一起的主页。 来自互联网
17 militants 3fa50c1e4338320d8495907fdc5bdbaf     
激进分子,好斗分子( militant的名词复数 )
  • The militants have been sporadically fighting the government for years. 几年来,反叛分子一直对政府实施零星的战斗。
  • Despite the onslaught, Palestinian militants managed to fire off rockets. 尽管如此,巴勒斯坦的激进分子仍然发射导弹。
18 ousting 5d01edf0967b28a708208968323531d5     
驱逐( oust的现在分词 ); 革职; 罢黜; 剥夺
  • The resulting financial chaos led to the ousting of Bristol-Myers' s boss. 随后引发的财政混乱导致了百时美施贵宝的总裁下台。
  • The ousting of the president has drawn widespread criticism across Latin America and the wider world. 洪都拉斯总统被驱逐时间引起拉丁美洲甚至全世界的广泛批评。
19 secular GZmxM     
  • We live in an increasingly secular society.我们生活在一个日益非宗教的社会。
  • Britain is a plural society in which the secular predominates.英国是个世俗主导的多元社会。
20 bloody kWHza     
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
21 insurgency dqdzEb     
  • And as in China, unrest and even insurgency are widespread. 而在中国,动乱甚至暴乱都普遍存在。 来自互联网
  • Dr Zyphur is part an insurgency against this idea. 塞弗博士是这一观点逆流的一部分。 来自互联网
22 rampant LAuzm     
  • Sickness was rampant in the area.该地区疾病蔓延。
  • You cannot allow children to rampant through the museum.你不能任由小孩子在博物馆里乱跑。
23 hampered 3c5fb339e8465f0b89285ad0a790a834     
妨碍,束缚,限制( hamper的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The search was hampered by appalling weather conditions. 恶劣的天气妨碍了搜寻工作。
  • So thought every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg. 圣彼德堡镇的那些受折磨、受拘束的体面孩子们个个都是这么想的。
24 insurgents c68be457307815b039a352428718de59     
n.起义,暴动,造反( insurgent的名词复数 )
  • The regular troops of Baden joined the insurgents. 巴登的正规军参加到起义军方面来了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Against the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents, these problems are manageable. 要对付塔利班与伊拉克叛乱分子,这些问题还是可以把握住的。 来自互联网
25 smuggling xx8wQ     
  • Some claimed that the docker's union fronted for the smuggling ring.某些人声称码头工人工会是走私集团的掩护所。
  • The evidence pointed to the existence of an international smuggling network.证据表明很可能有一个国际走私网络存在。
26 credible JOAzG     
  • The news report is hardly credible.这则新闻报道令人难以置信。
  • Is there a credible alternative to the nuclear deterrent?是否有可以取代核威慑力量的可靠办法?
27 premiums efa999cd01994787d84b066d2957eaa7     
n.费用( premium的名词复数 );保险费;额外费用;(商品定价、贷款利息等以外的)加价
  • He paid premiums on his life insurance last year. 他去年付了人寿保险费。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Moves are afoot to increase car insurance premiums. 现正在酝酿提高汽车的保险费。 来自《简明英汉词典》
28 deterrent OmJzY     
  • Large fines act as a deterrent to motorists.高额罚款是对开车的人的制约。
  • I put a net over my strawberries as a deterrent to the birds.我在草莓上罩了网,免得鸟歇上去。
29 allied iLtys     
  • Britain was allied with the United States many times in history.历史上英国曾多次与美国结盟。
  • Allied forces sustained heavy losses in the first few weeks of the campaign.同盟国在最初几周内遭受了巨大的损失。
30 naval h1lyU     
  • He took part in a great naval battle.他参加了一次大海战。
  • The harbour is an important naval base.该港是一个重要的海军基地。
31 lieutenant X3GyG     
  • He was promoted to be a lieutenant in the army.他被提升为陆军中尉。
  • He prevailed on the lieutenant to send in a short note.他说动那个副官,递上了一张简短的便条进去。
32 distress 3llzX     
  • Nothing could alleviate his distress.什么都不能减轻他的痛苦。
  • Please don't distress yourself.请你不要忧愁了。
33 mariners 70cffa70c802d5fc4932d9a87a68c2eb     
  • Mariners were also able to fix their latitude by using an instrument called astrolabe. 海员们还可使用星盘这种仪器确定纬度。
  • The ancient mariners traversed the sea. 古代的海员漂洋过海。
34 coalition pWlyi     
  • The several parties formed a coalition.这几个政党组成了政治联盟。
  • Coalition forces take great care to avoid civilian casualties.联盟军队竭尽全力避免造成平民伤亡。
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