HOUSTON, TX, March 17, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — On 6 November the United Nations (UN) Security Council renewed the authorization for international naval forces to carry out anti-piracy measures off Somalia’s coast. It is now 10 years since the first resolution was passed in 2008 to respond to piracy and robbery against humanitarian and commercial ships in the region.
At the time, piracy was considered a major threat to both local and global peace and security. Since then, and especially since 2013, the number of attacks and hijackings has dropped. Recent incidents have however raised concerns over the long-term sustainability of counter-piracy measures and whether enough is being done on land to increase the resilience of Somali communities and prevent a resurgence of piracy.
In the most recent attack on 16 October, four men attempted to board the bulk carrier MV KSL Sydney around 340 nautical miles (630km) off the coast of Mogadishu, opening fire on the ship. The pirates aborted the attack after private security guards on board returned fire. The European Union Naval Force, as part of Operation Atalanta, tracked down and destroyed a whaler ship believed to have been that of the attackers.
This is only the second piracy attack off the coast of Somalia reported this year, which is dramatically down from the 160 piracy incidents reported during the height of the problem in 2011.
The long-term success of counter-piracy measures depends on a stable and unified Somali state. The attack’s failure shows that current counter-piracy tactics on board vessels, prescribed by the latest iteration of Best Management Practices, remain effective at preventing pirates from boarding and capturing vessels. The aim of these best practices is to address the vulnerabilities often exploited by pirates, thereby significantly increasing the risks for pirates.
The recent UN secretary-general’s report on piracy and armed robbery off Somalia’s coast attributes the low number of attacks to successful global collaboration and the ongoing work of regional organizations like the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
The report also cites the continued enforcement measures of international naval forces, and the extensive military, naval and donor support of the international community. Navies, either in coordination with the European Union Naval Force and the Combined Maritime Forces, or deployed outside of them such as South Africa’s Operation Copper, help disrupt pirate activities.
Despite these short-term successes, the international community’s attempts to address the root causes of piracy in Somalia itself, through capacity building initiatives and donor activities, are not yet effective enough.
While many of Somalia’s pirate foot soldiers languish in jail, the kingpins remain at large. The secretary-general’s report lists notable successes in counter-piracy efforts by the Somali government, but says the root causes of piracy still need to be fully addressed. Among them are poverty and a lack of employment opportunities in Somalia’s coastal communities, as well as a lack of legal, governance and maritime infrastructure.
The activities of pirate groups must be understood in the broader context of Somalia’s ongoing crisis. The crisis has allowed the root causes for the emergence and proliferation of these groups to continue for two reasons.
First, competition between political factions in Somalia has left poverty unaddressed. This undermines sustainable development and the creation of economic alternatives. People are drawn to piracy and other illegal activities with the promise of, if not wealth, a stable income.
Somalia is mired in a zero-sum internal political struggle, with federal states and groups competing for power and resources in the areas they are able to govern. Political stability in Somalia would allow for economic alternatives to illegal activities.
Second, according to the recent report by the Centre for Military Studies from the University of Copenhagen, some of the criminal networks responsible for piracy are still around. While many so-called pirate foot soldiers languish in jail, the ‘kingpins’ remain at large.
Puntland has taken effective counter-piracy measures to drive away pirate groups and secure the coast
The report argues that pirate groups shifted their focus away from piracy towards more profitable illegal activities. For these criminal networks, the defining factor is opportunity and revenue. While navies stationed in the region can increase the risks and costs for pirates, they don’t get involved in the prosecution of human trafficking, arms smuggling and other illegal activities. In the absence of criminal justice, the groups continue to profit by other means.
A more coherent regional effort to address smuggling would help stop the money flow that fuels these groups. However, situations such as Yemen’s ongoing war create ungoverned spaces for criminal networks to function and prosper.
The conditions needed for long-term solutions to piracy remain absent. At the core of the problem is Somalia’s dependency on the presence of foreign navies and international support for stability and security. Somalia doesn’t have the capacity to handle the issue without foreign help. Comprehensive counter-piracy efforts must keep the pressure on pirate groups while addressing the root causes that enable these networks to emerge.
Puntland has been successfully fighting piracy since 2008. Once a centre of pirate activity, the federal state has taken proactive and effective counter-piracy measures – like establishing a maritime police force – to drive away pirate groups and secure the coast. This has driven the network to the nearby autonomous region of Galmudug.
Puntland’s success story may help shape and define a Somali-owned approach to counter-piracy. But long-term achievements depend on a stable and unified Somali state. As long as the root causes of pirate groups are not addressed, the threat of a resurgence in piracy will hover on the horizon.
Our in 1996 founded commercial security company as one of the first maritime security provider world wide since 2005 had offered various options to the maritime industry for realizing effective, compliant and competitive armed maritime security and armed vessel protection services against any activities of terrorists and criminal groups at sea by realizing uncounted successful accomplished transit escorts in High Risk Areas (HRA’s) around the globe.
Since 2008 when Somali Piracy has increased in the Indian Ocean Region and the surrounding sea spaces the maritime industry world has changed enormously and i.b.s.® has taken part to increase the security of merchant marine vessel and yachts during the use of international shipping lanes.
i.b.s.® and its specialists assist merchant shipping and cruise ship companies as well as owner, manager and operator of yachts, mega yachts and super yachts through tailor made maritime security concepts plus on special request with unarmed or armed maritime security operational services.
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Since 2008 the MARITIME SECURITY DIVISION of our company, which focuses exclusively on maritime security issues related to anti-piracy and counter-terrorism has a proven track record about successfully fulfilled armed maritime security and armed vessel protection missions to mitigate risks and secure the transit of our clients vessels around the globe.
All our missions as a valuable service have been arranged via our Repräsentative offices in USA / Florida (Miami and formerly Tampa), the Sultanate of Oman (Muscat, Salalah, Sohar and Duqm), the Rep. of Singapore (Singapore), the Rep. of Maldives (Malé) as well our head offices and branches in Germany (Sittensen and Hamburg). Up from the 01. of January 2019 we will also operate via our new representative offices in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) plus in the capital city of Lithuania (Vilnius).
Further more our tailor made maritime security concepts focus on the vulnerability of our clients vessel, modular and individual training and e-learnings for ship crews and in-house for shipping company personal does not matter, if your are one of the world wide leading charter companies e.g. MAERSK, Hamburg Süd, Hapag Lloyd, UASC, a shipping company or a yacht owner, yacht manager or yacht operator.
All armed and unarmed anti-piracy and counter-terrorism measures realized through tailor made concepts of our company are a part of different possible maritime security measures carried out in liaison with local security bodies in the coast states as well as specifically those at the HoA Horn of Africa with Red Sea, GoA Gulf of Aden, IOR Indian Ocean Region and other effect sea spaces to ensure smooth vessel operations at all times.
Throughout our specialists we are not only offer effective maritime security measures through our experienced armed guards (especially for national and international transports of military goods) but in addition consulting services, seminars and trainings for vessel crews in order to teach them the correct and comprehensive way to secure their vessels, as well as the correct anti-piracy and counter-terrorism actions to take when under attack by criminal groups at sea.
The emphasis of all measures is not exclusively focused on pirate attacks and counter terrorism measures when on transit in the sea areas of the HoA Horn of Africa or IOR Indian Ocean Region, as it also includes additional relevant sea spaces and further topics like e.g. cyber threat and cyber security for ships and company own digital infrastructure.
At this stage we also would like to take the opportunity to point out that, in line with the recommendation of the IMO and in compliance with the BIMCO “GUARDCON”, our company possesses indemnity insurance cover of EUR 5,000,000 per each liability case but never one has occur to our clients.
In addition i.b.s.® is DNV-GL ISO 9001:2015 certified for e.g. “Armed Maritime Security Services”.
Further more we are the bearer of the approval by the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) plus relevant flag and coastal states like Marshal Islands, Isle of Men, Djibouti, Maldives, and Oman but not limited to those to carry out professional armed maritime security services.
Last but not least our services are compliant with the respective international Laws and Conventions, e.g. ICoCA, IMO, SOLAS, ISPS and ISM Code, UNCLOS and SUA.
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