Somali pirates, the modern version of legendary pirates?

Somali pirates, the modern version of legendary pirates?

Somali pirates, the modern version of legendary pirates?

The Somali piracy threatens the regional international shipping for about a decade. The piracy accentuated since 2005 and brought concern to many international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization and the World Food Programme, and to countries that carry out shipping activities in the area. At the beginning, the attacks were target on small boats, but the frequency and sophistication of the attacks increased over time.

Over the years Somali pirates started to target large cargo ships, oil and chemical tankers on international voyages. According to the Kenyan authorities, it is estimated that Somali pirates have received over US$150 million in ransom in 2008 only. There are no recent estimations, but the hijacking cases multiplied over the last two years.

As a response to the pirate’s attacks, military naval ships from the Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150), Russia, China and India are deployed in the area and patrol continuously. U.S. and France are also permitted to enter Somalia territorial waters, extending up to 12 nautical miles from the coastline, in an effort to diminish piracy.

Most Somali pirates are aged between 20 and 35 years, have lots of money and get more power by the day. Their success attracts youngsters that don’t have a future in the war-torn country. The pirates marry the most beautiful girls, build big houses for their families and have new cars. They pump a lot of money into the local economy and because of that all locals tolerate them. There is also a negative part: they started to use drugs and alcohol, promoting all kinds of vices.

Despite international efforts, Somali piracy seems to be expanding and harder to stop by every day. The only thing clear is that unless something urgent will be done the Gulf Aden piracy will become almost unstoppable.

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