Causes of Maritime Piracy Off the Somali Coast; What Solutions Can the Regional or International Community Offer?

17 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2009

Date Written: October 2, 2009


The International Maritime Community has been hit by ship hi-jackings carried out by Somali pirates, in the Western Indian Ocean waters off the East Coast of Africa.

These acts that has surged from only about as rescently as 2006, are of great wide. The acts that include, among others, unlawful acts which threaten the safety of ships and the security of their passangers and crew; with reports of crew being kidnapped, ships being hi-jacked, deliberately run aground or blown up by explosives. Passengers were threatened and sometimes killed. Ships and crew and cargo detained until a ransome amounting to sometimes millions of dollars is paid.

The pirates that are combing these waters sometimes is a group of as few as six men, in a rag-tag boat, seem to be nothing, yet they have developed a level of sophistication where modern navies patrolling the maritime region seems to fail to contain this practice.

This regional interuption of maritime commercial flow is being felt world wide. Ship owners that have opted for long cuts to avoid the East African coastal waters, are footing the bill of such costly measures. This in turn has caused merchandise that pass through this shipping lane to hike up on price.

What is the cause of this maritime threat? - What must the International community do to get rid of this threat? - What is causing the international community, with its modern navies, to fail to contain this threat to life, property and commerce?

This work explains and looks into the causes of maritime piracy in the region. This work also offers suggestions and answers on how this problem can be solved.

Keywords: Somali Pirates, Pirates in Indian Ocean, Modern Pirates, Maritime Terrorism, Terrorism in the Sea, Causes of Maritime Piracy, International Community against Somali Piracy, Breeding Grounds for terrorism, Piracy in the Gulf of Ogaden, Pirates in the Horn of Africa

Suggested Citation

Cwinya-ai, Robert Ongom, Causes of Maritime Piracy Off the Somali Coast; What Solutions Can the Regional or International Community Offer? (October 2, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Robert Ongom Cwinya-ai (Contact Author)

Port of New Orleans Legal Office ( email )

Port of New Orleans Place
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

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