There are some misconceptions about Somali pirates with increasing news coverage. They are gaining the attention of the international community with the hostile tactics. The question this article desires to ask: who are the pirates? What is their motive? Who pushed them to the edge? Well let’s take a look at these questions in 10 interesting facts.
The cause for insurgency was corporations and foreigners ‘trespassing’ on Somali waters. Foreign corporations dumped their waste inside the Somali waters, while foreigners were fishing. Somalia is a country that has a large fishery dependency. With scarce income, many Somali fishermen are protective of their property and their assets.
The Guardian in the U.K. reported that 44% of piracy incidents on world seas between January and September 2010 were caused by Somali pirates. There were 289 incidents in total.
Piracy has hindered on the delivery of shipping material and has increased shipping costs. The Telegraph reports that piracy has cost £10 billion a year in trade.
In just the fall of 2011, 300 people were held hostage by differing groups of Somali pirates. The international Maritime Bureau thus has considered Somali coast to be a dangerous stretch of water to enter.
They are not your typical pirates. They do not wear eye patches and swords. They are more modern than Captain Cook. They have RPGs in their hands which they use as scare tactics for ransom.
Although the pirates attacked and attempted to hijack vessels in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, most of them were not successful. In 2008 for example, only 42 of the 111 attacks were successful hijackings.
Given the collapse of Barre government, the Somali Navy has been weakened. Given the lack of centralized government, there has not been a consensus on defence. Pirates are their form of defense against foreigners.
70% of coastal villagers and fisherman support the pirates.
There has been a rise over the concerns of illegal fishing by foreign corporations. This has also put salt on the wounds of Somalis. The inability of the international community to find a solution made them take action into their own hands.
Most of the pirates are young adults. Pirates are recruited as teenagers to join in the defense against foreigners and those who pollute the waters near Somalia.