Somali and African Piracy

May 2013
Background Information Summaries;5/3/2013, p1
Piracy in the waters off the Horn of Africa presents a growing threat to maritime trade and commerce and has far-reaching ramifications for economic and political security and human well-being in Somalia. Causes underlying piracy are multifaceted, but can be traced to systemic problems plaguing Somalia, including civil war, lawlessness, extremely poor economic conditions and prospects for its population, and a general perception of impunity for the pirates. The international community has responded to growing incidence of piracy off the Horn of Africa by increasing multinational naval patrols, multilateral diplomatic measures, and by enhancing private security measures and protection for vessels and crews, addressing prevention and disruption of piracy. Finally, prosecution of suspected and confirmed pirates presents an additional challenge in the international efforts to make piracy a less attractive option. Unfortunately, none of these measures will be sufficient to prevent piracy entirely until governance and security conditions on land, particularly in Somalia, improve.


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