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Increase of Violent Pirate Attacks

The UN Secretary-General presented his latest report on piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast to the Security Council. Not only is maritime piracy a grave global concern, but these incidents of piracy are also increasing in violent intensity.

This week, the European Union’s antipiracy wing EU NAVFOR blamed many successful pirate attacks on the failure of seafarers to follow best practices for foiling pirate attacks. According to the coalition, crewmembers are simply not doing enough to protect themselves and their vessels from pirate attacks. They could be using nonlethal deterrence and greater vigilance tactics.  Both these practices that have been proven to minimize the risks of a pirate attack are being used sparingly.

According to UN Sec. Gen. Ban Ki-Moon, incidences of piracy have decreased along the Somali coastline because of patrolling by Navy ships. However, there have been a few instances in which pirate attacks have turned violent. According to the Secretary-General, these increased levels of violence are a matter of great concern. He has appealed to all ships traveling along the coast of Somalia to follow best practices for foiling pirate attacks.

According to the Secretary-General, Kenya and the Seychelles have been doing good work in prosecuting and imprisoning suspected pirates. However, more efforts are needed.  For instance, there is potential for great improvement in investigative activities after pirate attacks. This includes collection of evidence. Besides, the Secretary-General is raising questions about whether ransom payments that are paid to pirates, are being channeled to finance other illegal activities, including militia groups.