Thursday, March 21, 2024

Is Somali Piracy Returning as a Major Problem?

 Reuters published on 21 March 2024 an article titled "Somali Pirates' Return Adds to Crisis for Global Shipping Companies" by Giulia Paravicini, Jonathan Saul, and Abdiqani Hassan.

For a variety of reasons, Somali piracy nearly disappeared ten years ago from the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and wider Indian Ocean.  Since November 2023, Somali pirates have attempted more than 20 hijackings, resulting in the return of armed security guards on ships and higher shipping insurance rates.  Although the number of attacks remains well below the peak in 2011, there is concern that piracy is returning as a serious threat.

Comment:  The ability and willingness of the central government in Mogadishu and the regional government of Puntland to control the Somali coastline will largely determine whether Somali piracy returns as a major issue.  More aggressive preventive measures by shipowners will also play a significant role.