Monday, September 26, 2016

Somali Piracy Nearly Ended but Might It Return?

Foreign Policy published on 23 September 2016 an analysis titled "Why Is It So Hard to Stop West Africa's Vicious Pirates?" by Dan De Luce.

No cargo ship has been successfully hijacked off the coast of Somalia since the spring of 2012. So far this year, only three pirate incidents have been reported. The author warns, however, that complacency could lead to a return of the piracy scourge.

The article identifies a number of reasons for the sharp reduction in piracy. One significantly overstated explanation are the setbacks experienced in Somalia by al-Shabaab, which was not that closely tied to piracy and rarely controlled territory from which the pirates operated. The single most important determent was the placement of armed security teams on many of the ships passing through the waters off Somalia. Pirates soon learned that trying to board a ship was too dangerous.

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