Priorities for African Continent in 2014
Africa has surpassed SE Asia as the number one hotspot of maritime piracy.
Top Priorities for African Continent in 2014: Dealing with Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in Gulf of Guinea
For several years, Africa has surpassed Southeast Asia as the world’s number one hotspot of maritime piracy. Approximately one-half of the world’s reported pirate attacks now take place either off the coast of Somalia or in the Gulf of Guinea, principally off the coast of Nigeria. Although during 2012 and 2013 the incidence of piracy off of the Horn of Africa declined considerably compared to the peak years of 2009 and 2010, the incidence of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has continued to grow. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of Somali pirate attacks has dropped by 80 percent, with 851 seafarers fired upon in 2013, compared to 4,185 in 2010; and 1,090 taken hostage in 2010, with many fewer—349—taken hostage in 2012.
Nonetheless, Somali pirates have extended their reach beyond the Gulf of Aden and Somalia into the southern part of the Red Sea, the east coast of Oman, the Bab el Mandeb Straits, and increasingly deep into the Indian Ocean.
Moreover, incidences of piracy off the Somali coast have merely been suppressed, but the root causes of piracy— poor state control of land, the lack of legal economic opportunities and the absence of the rule of law—have not been resolved. Thus, piracy off the coast of Somalia could easily escalate again should the naval patrolling lessen.
To continue reading, please click here.