Armament on the High Seas

Floating armouries “a major security concern”, apparently.

Armament on the High Seas

By Liza Kane-Hartnett

Last month, Sri Lanka announced that it had terminated its agreement with the private security firm Avant Garde to operate the country’s increasingly scandalous ‘floating armories.’ The term refers to vessels stationed at sea that house weapons and personnel, which proliferated as a reaction to Somali piracy and the use of armed guards to protect those traveling in the High Risk Area (HRA).

As security measures escalated over the last five years to stave off pirate attacks and hijackings, ships traveling in the HRA with armed guards faced challenges navigating various regulatory regimes regarding their ability to bring weapons into the sovereign jurisdiction and ports of differing countries. The predicament led to the development of floating armories as pickup and drop-off points for weapons and guards alike. Until the HRA was reduced in size in October 2015, Sri Lanka’s optimal location adjacent to the region emerged as a convenient depository for the security needs of vessels transiting the east-west route connecting Asia to the Western Indian Ocean and high-traffic gulfs of the Middle East.

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Source: worldpolicy.org

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