Rising political instability in Somalia and increasing global demands on national navies will continue to be major factors contributing to ongoing piracy in the Gulf of Aden in the medium to longer term, according to independent experts speaking at a maritime security briefing in Hamburg, Germany.
The event, which was organized by Gulf of Aden Group Transits, brought together maritime security experts and industry delegates with commercial assets exposed to this potential risk.
“Somali pirates are waiting for the West to relax its guard,” warned Mary Harper, BBC Africa editor, who has reported on incidents in the region, at the security event. “If shipping organizations become complacent, it is likely the pirates will strike again.”
“Somalia is becoming more politically fragmented with many different groups seeking to gain dominance over their area, which potentially creates a favorable environment for piracy,” she said.
“Furthermore, economic pressures and wider global commitments may constrain the world’s navies from their ability to sustain a significant presence in anti-piracy operations in this region,” added Philip Wilcocks, GoAGT’s chairman.