has also impacted nearby economies who witnessed a decline in tourism and in
their fishing industry (The World Bank, 2013, pp. xiv). To be sure, Anderson
states that piracy could have actually hurt the fishing industry as catches of
tuna, a major harvest in the region, declined by some 30% in 2008 (Anderson,
2010, pp. 327). Another cost, which was not significantly addressed in other
literature being reviewed, was the cost concerning individual humans. The World
Bank reports that “As many as 3,741 crewmembers of 125 different nationalities became
victims of these pirates, with detention periods as long as 1,178 days.
Reportedly, 82 to 97 seafarers have died either during the attacks, in
detention after poor treatment, or during rescue operations” (The World Bank,
2013, pp. xiii).
to Alessi and Hanson some experts allude to collusion between the pirates in
Somalia, and the terrorist group Al-Shabab also operating in Somalia and
regionally (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp. 4). As one example, they offer an
article by Bruno Schiemsky written for Jane’s Intelligence Review, presenting
the links between the two organizations. However, according to Martin Murphy,
and quoted by Alessi and Hanson, the links between the pirates and Al-Shabab
are limited at best due to lack of hard evidence. Murphy proffers that if there
is a link, it is strictly economic and exploitative in nature in that the
pirates are reduced to simply “another source of finance” (Alessi and Hanson,
2012, pp. 4). The World Bank presents some kind of linkage between pirates and
Islamist insurgents and presents further or enhanced cooperation as a concern
(The World Bank, 2013, pp. xiv). With the growing threat posed by pirates to
the sea lanes, regional stability, possible links to terrorism, and increasing
global costs, certainly the international community had to intervene in some
capacity to limit, or outright prevent pirate activities.
first major modern international initiative which sought to bring further
stability to the seas was the implementation of the United National Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1994. Amongst a host of legal precedence set
by this resolution, this resolution also considered acts of piracy by
determining that, legally, “piracy is a universal crime, and subjects pirates
to arrest and prosecution by any nation.” (Alessi and Hanson, 2012, pp. 6).
However, there is an interesting caveat to this stability-seeking resolution
presented by Anderson. UNCLOS, passed roughly three years following the
collapse of the Somali government in 1991, restricted Somali fisherman to a
clearly, and legally, defined area influencing increased competition between
Somali fishermen (Anderson, 2010, pp. 326-327). Anderson points to a major
deficiency in the language, and thus legal issues, of UNCLOS. The language employed
in UNCLOS Article 220 supposes that there are operational and legitimate
government institutions with the capability of combating, enforcing, and
prosecuting pirates under international law which are mechanisms Somalia does
not possess (Anderson, 2010, pp. 328). Due to the nonexistence of an
international enforcing agency (i.e. a world police), Anderson argues that the
“international community is failing to self-regulate by ignoring evidence
suggesting that its members are taking advantage of a collapsed state that has
no ability to enforce international law” which thus “forces the local
communities to take matters into their own hands” (Anderson, 2010, pp. 328).
2008 the international community began a more aggressive approach to combat
piracy, which grew ever more expansive and proactive in the years following.
According to The World Bank, in 2008 the UN Security Council passed 13
Resolutions to support anti-piracy operations aimed at the Horn of Africa (The
World Bank, 2013, pp. xi). One of the most significant resolutions was the 2008
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1851 (from here on UNRES 1851).