Piracy in Somalia is Decreasing, says IMO
December 19, 2011 1 Comment
At the end of a year focused on a wide-ranging anti-piracy campaign, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) cautiously announced a decrease in piracy and other related attacks in Somalia:
“Recently compiled statistics show that the number of ships and seafarers held captive by Somali pirates have reduced from a peak of 33 and 733 in February to 13 and 265 respectively, at the beginning of December. The number of reported attacks has also declined from a high of 45 per month in January 2011 to 14 for the month of November 2011; and the proportion of successful attacks has been cut from 20 per cent in January 2011 to just 7 per cent in November 2011.”
Further up to date figures are also available from the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre.
During 2011, the IMO engaged at various levels to bring about a solution to piracy and related crimes, particularly concerning the protection of both ships and seafarers as well as the enhancement and enforcement of maritime law. Most notably, the IMO dedicated this year world maritime day to the theme of “Piracy: Orchestrating the Response” and launched a campaign directed at improving coordination among States, the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations to tackle piracy.
The changing nature of modern day piracy and other forms of armed robbery at sea, its increasing links with other forms of organized crimes, the deeply rooted social causes at their basis as well as their impressive economic impact have given a new dimension to the phenomenon. We have referred to this as transmaritime criminality.
While the falling of piracy related numbers in the Somalian hotspot is certainly a welcome news, the IMO understandably warned of the risk of becoming complacent with these positive results. Success in combating piracy remains contingent on the local situation on the ground which, in the case of Somalia, remains unstable. Current signs of criminal activities, particularly the risk of these spreading into West Africa, call for a continuing engagement with the process stakeholders. This should also be aimed at developing a comprehensive and holistic approach towards all facets and root-causes of transmaritime criminality.