Somalia is a country in Africa. It is home to many pirates who take hostages and demand a ransom. There is a need for law and order in the region to stop these pirates. Read on to learn more about the situation and the international response to Somali piracy.
Pirates are armed robbers
On the open sea, pirates are a major concern for shipping companies. They target ships in the vicinity of Somalia to steal valuable cargo. In the Gulf of Aden, pirates seized a Bulgarian-flagged ship, Panega, with 15 crew members. The ship was en route from the Red Sea to India and Pakistan. This was the first time a Bulgarian-flagged ship has been hijacked in Somalia. Another recent attack saw pirates seizing a Liberian-flagged ship, which was transporting iron from Ukraine to China.
These Somali pirates use heavy weaponry to seize ships and hold their crews hostage for ransom. They then use sophisticated technology such as GPS to track and target ships. The pirates’ recent rise in activity in the region has drawn international attention and caused international organizations to voice concerns. Piracy has a significant impact on global trade, and the cost to shipping companies is staggering.
Pirates have a long history in Somalia. In 1991, the country was ravaged by internal conflict. Because of the instability in Somalia, the Somali government was unable to crack down on pirates. Thus, Somalia became a breeding ground for piracy.
They take hostages for ransom
Somali pirates have hijacked several ships and are now taking hostages for ransom. The latest attack involved the abduction of a fishing vessel in March 2012 off the coast of Somalia. There have been reports of numerous hostages being released. The United Nations Hostage Support Program has been tracking the Somali pirates and trying to reach their hostages.
While the number of attacks on ships by Somali pirates has decreased, the number of hostages held by the gangs remains high. Many of these hostages are uninsured and have little money to pay ransom. As a result, negotiations have hit a stalemate. Negotiators estimate that pirates spend $100,000 to $200,000 a year on renting boats and purchasing weapons, fuel, and food. Additionally, pirates receive payoffs from government officials who try to stop them from stealing their ships. In recent years, the United Nations Security Council has sent patrols to the Somali coast to curb pirate gangs’ activities.
Despite heightened international maritime security patrols, Somali pirates have taken fewer hostages in recent years. They have also increased the number of armed guards aboard their ships. But there is still a risk of attacks on fishing vessels. Those vessels have a high chance of being attacked by Somali pirates.
International response to piracy in Somalia
The rise in piracy off the coast of Somalia is alarming, according to a recent ICC report. In 2008 alone, there were 110 reported incidents, double the number from 2007. The impact on human life and livelihood is clear, but the economic and commercial interests of Somalia are also at risk.
The international response to piracy in Somalia has been a mixed success. In the past, international assistance has tended to back one group over another and has sometimes undermined the credibility of the Somali President. To effectively fight piracy, the international community must reach out to all the key players in Somalia. For example, a successful strategy to combat piracy in Somalia must involve the clan elders.
While the international community is taking steps to curb piracy, the problem is far from over. There are still several obstacles, including perceived legal uncertainty, which discourages countries from taking action against pirates. Despite these challenges, the EU and neighboring nations have already initiated multilateral agreements to prosecute pirates. In November, the EU signed agreements with Kenya and the Seychelles to prosecute pirates. However, there is still a need to secure more agreements with neighbouring states.
Need for law and order
As Somalia grapples with an increasing tide of piracy, the need for law and order in the country is a pressing concern. Somalia lacks a functioning central government, and the central government has not been able to project its power beyond its capital city for decades. Instead, the country is run by warlords, clan-based elites, and Islamist militias. As a result, there is a severe lack of law and order in Somali coastal regions.
The UNODC has been engaged in formulating a more adequate response to this challenge, and has geared up its support for the States of the region to strengthen their legal systems. The organization provides assistance to maritime authorities and prosecution services, as well as training to law enforcement officials and police. It also assists witnesses, and helps to ensure the trial process goes smoothly.
It is also important to strengthen maritime security in the region. This is necessary to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden and to deliver humanitarian aid to the Horn of Africa. The United States, the European Union, and Russia have all pledged to provide such help. However, these countries are reluctant to use their powers to capture pirates because of concerns about their citizens’ human rights. That’s why they have signed agreements with Kenya and other countries to guarantee the rights of captured pirates.