Piracy In Somalia Essay

1324 words - 5 pages

Attacks by pirates operating out of the waters off the coast of Somalia, a region in the Horn of Africa (HOA), have motivated changes in international maritime security, altered the global economy, and endangered mariners from across the globe. These attacks have involved several nations, to include the United States, and hindered several globally-supported humanitarian aid transports which deliver to some of the world's most at risk populations. I am going to explain how the piracy in Somalia originated, moved into and has begun to negatively affect the global economy, has caused positive changes in international maritime policies and procedures, and articulate how until the internal conflicts of Somalia are resolved the international community will never see improvement along the coastline and Gulf of Aden.
The recent hijackings and subsequent trials of Somali pirates have merely brought worldwide attention to an issue that has been simmering in the Gulf of Aden for years. The current state of piracy in the waters along the Somali coast originates back almost 20 years. Civil wars, an unstable government, shifting alliances, international interventions, natural disasters, and up to a third of the nations populace displaced has created an atmosphere of desperation among the populace of Somalia. This combination has acted against both internal and international efforts towards stabilization within the region. In the early-1990’s, the central government of Somalia collapsed under the Siad Barre regime (Lewis, 2002). With the collapse of the central government and the illegal dumping of hazardous waste, the waters surrounding Somalia were left open to exploitation by outside influences. In the wake of their eroding livelihood, Somali fishermen took it upon themselves to protect their traditional waters from over-fishing and illegal dumping by foreigners. Due to the clan-based organization of Somali society and the country's strategic location in the Horn of Africa, conditions were ripe for the growth of piracy. With the absence of any effective ruling authority, the piracy stemming from the peoples of Somalia has transformed from an initial quest to save the countries resources from being spoiled into a more organized, lucrative and profitable criminal business for its participants and facilitators (Tharoor, 2009).
The United States has attempted action, in concert with other concerned countries, to uphold the interests of a populace in need of an effective form of government. At the same time, attempting to ensure the people of Somalia retain access to essential resources, freedom of navigation and safety of the seas along the coast of Somalia, and in protecting American citizens who may enter these troubled waters. The latest example of piracy came in late February 2011, pirates targeting smaller yachts with the purpose of collecting ransom made headlines when four Americans were killed aboard their vessel. These events also took place while...

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