Saturday, December 22, 2012

Somali Pirate Hijackings Down, Business Model Intact

Less Pirate Activity off Somalia--

Somali Pirate Hijackings Down, Business Model Still Intact – NATO - Ventures Africa: " . . . International naval forces must continue actions in the waters near Somalia if the hijacking of merchant ships is to be prevented going forward, says NATO, as pirates remain committed to the “business model”. Despite the fact that attempts made by Somali pirates on merchant ships have significantly fallen over the past year in response to increased naval presence and increased security measures implemented in the region, NATO officials have warned that the international community must not relax measures, as this may allow a recurrence of piracy." Somalia: NATO Records Fall in Pirate Activity: "There have been no ships hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia for the last six months, according to officials of NATO, one of the international bodies involved in providing international warships to provide security along the Somali coasts. This reflects a significant fall in activity by pirates along the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest shipping routes. Pirates, however, still hold five ships and 136 hostages seized in previous years. NATO officials attribute these successes against pirates in part to the continuing efforts of the international fleet in the area, combined with better security measures by merchant ships, most of which now have armed guards aboard. Equally, the establishment of the new government and administration, including the election of a Parliament and a President and the appointment of a Prime Minister and a cabinet and above all the greatly improved security situation within Somalia itself and the successes against Al-Shahaab as well as increased anti-pirate activities by Puntland security forces and other pressures against pirate areas, have played a major role. Significantly, recent AMISOM and Somali Armed Forces' successes have included the capture of a number of the ports along the Somali coast. . . . "

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