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The solution to piracy off the coast of somalia lies on land not at sea - Essay Example

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The solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia lies on land not at sea Introduction As far as common perception goes, piracy is one of the vestiges of the Middle Ages. In modern times, we usually find terminologies like pirate and dacoit been deported to myths and folk tales…
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The solution to piracy off the coast of somalia lies on land not at sea
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The solution to piracy off the coast of somalia lies on land not at sea

Download file to see previous pages... This is why, off the shores of Somalia, the threat of piracy has cast its frightening shadow. These waters being one of the international trade routes, the problem has become a head ache, not to the Somalis, but to global commerce. While trying to find solutions to this problem, all the focus has been on surveillance at sea. But this paper tries to refocus the whole issue upon the basic political realities of this nation which has become a constant breeding ground for pirates. The state of Somalia is located in the Horn of Africa, and is bordered on the west by Ethiopia, Kenya in the southwest, Djibouti in the northwest, while the waters of the Gulf of Aden lie to its north, and the Indian Ocean bordering its eastern coastline. Somalia was well known during the time of the antiquities, when it had successful trade relations with the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon and many others2. Later in the 20th century, Somalia played an important role during Cold War, primarily under the Soviet influence. However, in the recent times the country has witnessed some of the worst civil wars, along with a rise in Islamic insurgency. Somalia’s present economic and political orders are in a complete state of disquiet, owing to the ceaseless civil conflicts. After 14 failed transitional governments, Somalia is now dubbed a “failed state.” Failed economic conditions and an unstable, volatile political order of this country, have forced many of its citizens to earn their livelihood through various illegal means. Of this, the maritime piracies off the high seas, near the Somalia coast, has turned into a major international problem, owing to increased instances of hijacking of large merchant ships by the Somali pirates, in a bid to earn ransom money. A common observation among social scientists has been that, “the Somali piracy ‘industry’ is a direct consequence of the 1991 collapse of the country’s last functioning national government.”3 In this article, my attempt is to examine the background that has led to this increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, to study the present situation of this piracy and the various reactions of the international communities and to offer viable solutions apart from the sea-based conventional solutions. This analysis will also discuss various workable solutions as suggested by various naval heads and other international organizations like the UNSC, NATO, and EUNAVFOR; all of which primarily advocate that, results of naval actions would not serve to be a permanent long term explication; as most of the experts feel that the solution to piracy off the coast of Somalia lies on land, and not at sea.4 Discussion Statistical data show that “there were 115 reported pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia in 2008…[and]…of those attacks, 46 resulted in the seizure of a commercial vessel by Somali pirates. The average ransom for the release of hijacked vessels increased from $1 million US dollars in July of 2008, to $1.5 million by December.”5 These figures show the graveness of the problem, which is leading to serious implications on the future of trade and commerce, via the Gulf of Aden route. This route is used by, at an average count, almost 20000 ships annually, and records show that maximum number of merchant ships have been attacked by the Somali pirates in this region6. Owing to this risk many of the trading vessels have been forced to avoid this area and take a longer but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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