Understanding Somali Piracy
In recent years, frequency of pirates attack off the cost of Somalia is drastically increased and became a great threat to international commercial shipping industries. According to the International Maritime Bureau (2011) report, more than 60% of the piracy attacks were committed by Somali pirates in the first six months of 2011 and many of the attacks have been east and north-east of the Gulf of Aden where is a passage for 70% of the world’s petroleum traffic and 20% of the world’s commercial
Attempting to prevent the piracy in the coast of Somali, many international countries are started to deploying their naval forces and anti-piracy fleets. Also, the United Nations are allowed to use their powers to intervene against pirates on Horn of Africa. However, solving the root of Somali piracy problem is not simple as we think because there are many factors to consider such as regional political instability, corruption in Somali police forces, poor economic situation and pan-Somali nationalism movement.
In order to defeat Somali piracy successfully, the U.S and allies must help Somali government to rebuild strong state and law enforcement institutions and educate the young generations. Also, the international communities should aid them to establish the strong Somali Coast Guard, so they can secure their own ports and coastal area from the piracy and foreign trawler who committing illegal activities in the Somali coastal area (James 2011).
Just listening to recent media report, many of us can assume that Somali piracy is caused by poverty and are there to collect the large sum of ransom moneys and to assault the innocence peoples. However, this is not how it started their piracy acts. After collapse of state from two decades of civil war in 1991, lack of local law enforcement institutions and weak naval force in Somalia made easy for foreign trawlers to dump their toxic wastes and perform illegal fishing around coast of Somali (Hansen, 2009).
At the beginning, average Somali pirate group was a clan-based, low-tech savvy, consisting of former fishermen and former coast guards. Their motive was to defend Somali water territory and to protect the marine resource from foreign trawlers who conducting illegal fishing and dumping the toxic waste in their territory (James 2009). However, angry Somali fishermen and coast guards learned that they can make more money by doing piracy than fishing and slowly increased their attacks in the Haradhere-hobyo area in 2004.
Several successful hijacking vessels in Somali coastal area in 2005, drastically changed population of piracy gangs and their motives. Now, majority of Somali pirates are young and uneducated poor people who have tie with extremist groups and changed their motives to collect large sum of cash from foreign shipping companies by hijacking their vessels or kidnapping tourists.
Usually, these Somali pirates are financed by...