By Vidya Sagar
The recent string of pirate attacks off Somalia signals resurgence of this menace to international shipping and trade. Even as the presence of Indian Navy in these waters helped mitigate some of the attacks, it is imperative for India to take lead and actively engage all the responsible stakeholders to direct international efforts in tackling the root causes of this threat to international maritime security.
Over 700 attacks took place during the previous spell of pirate attacks off Somalia and Western Indian Ocean spanning 2008-2011 with about 750 persons held hostage in 2011, the peak year of piracy. The World Bank had estimated that the cost to global economy due to Somali piracy as $18 billion annually. Delays in shipping, ransoms to pirates, insurance premiums, changes in trade routes, installation of security measures onboard ships etc. contributed to this cost.
The mobilisation of international navies of Europe, India etc. aided by United Nations resolutions helped mitigate this threat. However, observers have warned last year that piracy off Somalia would resurge owing to political instability in Somalia as well as the inadequacy of international community in addressing the root cause of this threat. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE