Somalian Piracy  -  An Alternative Perspective

Somalian Piracy - An Alternative Perspective

Product ID: 29126

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Author: P K Ghosh
Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
Year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 34
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A


Modern piracy is an extremely complex problem and is largely a manifestation of various underlying socio-political issues afflicting a particular region. Hence, piracy emanating from an area is unique in it self and distinct from piracy-related incidents in other regions of the world.

One of the primary reasons for the burgeoning of Somalia pirate attacks is that the country is a classic example of a failed state. Ignored by the world, the country has not seen even a semblance of state governance since the fall of the Siad Barre regime nearly two decades ago.

The country has been torn apart by civil strife. In 1998 the autonomous state of "Puntland" was established by the ailing leader of TGF (Transitional Federal Government), Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed. The new state based itself on tribal affiliations and tribal agenda. This ideology enabled "Puntland" to leverage some parties in Somaliland.

Puntland has 1, 600 km of coastline, which has an abundance of fish and other natural marine resources. However, after the collapse of the Somali central government in 1971, the coast was left unguarded against foreign intruders. The resultant poaching by outsiders was one of the main reasons that led to the increase in piracy.

Having first made headlines in 2005, Somalian piracy has evolved considerably within a short period of time - from relatively modest beginnings of attempting to collect "tax" from intruding ships to a well - established vast lucrative "corporate industry" professing transnational characteristics and extending to many parts of large, well-financed and organized criminal gangs based inland. The more disturbing trend however concerns the allegations and perceptions that these activities somehow are deeply linked to terrorist organizations like the Somalian Al Shabab and the Al Qaida based in Yemen.

After a detailed examination of this international problem, this study concludes with some recommendations.