Piracy: The global agenda

For close to two decades, the world has turned a blind eye as Somalis butchered each other and warlords called the shots in demarcated territories in Somalia.

For the rest of the world, that was none of their business, but as Somalis quickly perfected the art of hijacking ocean vessels in the high seas and demanding ransom for their safe release – thereby causing major disruptions on one of the world’s busiest shipping corridors – it has quickly become their business. And the question begs: Can the world continue to ignore the crisis in Somalia? The game changer came last year after the buccaneers hijacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker and Ukrainian vessel carrying weaponry for the Kenyan military. The audacity and the location of the hijackings deep in international waters raised the red flag for the international maritime community to a serious problem that needed urgent solutions. With the promise of green dollars raining down from the blue skies above and a lawless haven to stash away their loot, the skinny, thick-skinned, gun-totting lads from Somalia are bolder and willing to take greater risks to capture more ships. The lure of hard cash ahead and abject poverty back in their homeland being their sole driving force to venture deep into the Indian Ocean preying on ocean vessels.

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