Home News Piracy still an issue

Piracy still an issue

by Brian Sims

Somali pirates are biding their time, a maritime security briefing has been told. Mary Harper, BBC Africa Editor, who has reported widely on events in the region, stated that Somali pirates are ‘sleeping’, and have not gone away. Growing political instability in Somalia and increasing global demands on national navies will continue to be the major contributing factors to on-going piracy activity in the medium-longer term, according to independent experts speaking at the security briefing in Hamburg for representatives from the shipping and maritime industries. Harper added, ‘The threat from pirates, which over the last few years has seen a number of major vessels seized, remains latent. Somali pirates are waiting for the west to relax its guard. If shipping organisations become complacent, it is likely the pirates will strike again. Somalia is becoming more politically fragmented with many different groups seeking to gain dominance over their area, which potentially creates a favourable environment for piracy.’ The event was organised by GoAGT, and its Chairman Admiral Philip Wilcocks said, ‘Growth in world economic output since the 1990s has driven an exponential expansion in maritime trade and this trend is set to continue. However, the main issue is that piracy in the Indian Ocean has not been eradicated, it has just been suppressed. Furthermore, economic pressures and wider global commitments may well constrain the world’s navies from their ability to sustain a significant presence in anti-piracy operations in this region.’

You may also like