News / Africa

    Cost of Somali Piracy Slumps as Attacks Fall

    FILE - Somali pirates
    FILE - Somali pirates
    Reuters
    The cost of Somali piracy to the global economy fell by almost half last year as attacks slumped, but piracy in West Africa was on the rise, an annual security report said on Wednesday.
              
    The Oceans beyond Piracy report put the total cost of Somali piracy - by far the largest single threat to international shipping in recent years - at only $3.2 billion in 2013.
              
    There were still at least 50 hostages in Somali captivity in desperate conditions, the report said.
              
    Gauging the level of threats in the Gulf of Guinea was difficult because of incomplete reporting but it was clear that rising numbers of seafarers were being kidnapped, it said.
              
    At the height of Somali pirate attacks in 2011, up to a dozen or more merchant ships were being held captive at any one time, often for multi-million-dollar ransoms.
              
    Since then, growing use of private security details and the presence of international warships have largely prevented successful attacks. No large vessels were seized in 2013.
              
    “The efforts of the international community and the shipping industry have considerably reduced the threat of Somali piracy,” said Jens Madsen, one of the report's authors. “But we have yet to achieve the goal of... zero vessels captured and zero hostages held.”
              
    Only a tiny proportion of the money spent on Somali piracy was being used for permanent solutions onshore, the pirates' launching pad for attacks on passing ships, the report said.
              
    The majority of the funds was used for private security contractors and insurance premiums.
              
    Piracy different in West Africa
              
    Shipping companies, which in the past used larger and more costly teams and took expensive steps such as rerouting vessels and traveling at greater speed, were increasingly turning to smaller groups of armed personnel, the report said.
              
    Somali pirates were increasingly attacking local fishermen and smaller craft, often hoping to use their vessels to attack larger ships.
          
    In West Africa, tackling the attacks was complicated by the lack of regional cooperation and information sharing, it said.
              
    “Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is fundamentally different [from] events taking place in the Indian Ocean,” said Madsen.
              
    “We observe... a high degree of violence in this region,” he said. “The constantly evolving tactics of West African piracy make it extremely difficult to isolate it from other elements of organized crime."

    You May Like

    Can EU Survive a Brexit?

    Across Europe politicians are asking if the British vote to leave the European Union will set in motion dynamics that will see other member states leave too

    Video Entrepreneurs at Global Summit Tackle Range of Challenges

    Innovators strive to halt sexual harassment in India, improve rural health in Myanmar, build businesses in Africa

    Key African Anti-Venom About to Permanently Run Out

    The tale of Fav-Afrique’s demise is a complicated one that reflects a deeper crisis brewing in global public health

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Marketsi
    X
    June 24, 2016 10:43 AM
    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Britain’s Vote to Leave EU Sends Shockwaves Through Global Markets

    Britain’s historic decision to leave the European Union is sending shockwaves through global markets. Markets from Tokyo to Europe tumbled Friday under the uncertainty the ballot brings, while regional leaders in Asia took steps to limit the possible fallout. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.
    Video

    Video During Ramadan, Faith and Football Converge in Lebanon’s Megadome

    In Beirut, a group of young entrepreneurs has combined its Muslim faith and love of football to create the city's newest landmark: a large, Ramadan-ready dome primed for one of the biggest football (soccer) tournaments in the world. But as the faithful embrace the communal spirit of Islam’s holy month, it is not just those breaking their fasts that are welcome.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora