Military Review

The collapse of Somali pirates

The collapse of Somali pirates

For the past year, Somali pirates have failed to seize a single vessel. The once formidable force crumbled for several reasons: the struggle of the Western Navy, and especially the most brutal sailors of India, the overbought tribal leaders of Somalia, the planting of Christianity among pirates. Gallery of pirates shows how their life is arranged.

The activity of Somali pirates has recently dropped significantly. This conclusion was made by experts of the global anti-piracy organization. For the whole year, the sea robbers have failed to capture a single ship. Just a couple of years ago, pirates seized dozens of ships off the coast of Somalia. In 2011, 129 attacks were recorded, in 2012 their number was reduced to 19, and those in the first half of the year.

What is the reason for the collapse of the effectiveness of Somali piracy? For a start, a brief report by the World Bank that explains the phenomenon of this phenomenon.

The global fight against piracy in Somalia focuses on the pursuit of pirates and the use of naval forces. However, according to a World Bank study, in order to get to the root cause of the problem, the international community needs to focus on helping the country create a functioning political system.

“Piracy is one of the manifestations of the collapse of the political system in Somalia,” says Ki-Toan Do, a senior economist at the Bank’s research department and the main author of the report Pirates of Somalia: End the Threat, Rebuild the Country. “It is necessary to fight with the system as a whole, and not just with pirates.”

According to this study, the “seizure for ransom” phenomenon in Somalia, where as a result of inter- and clan fighting and European colonization, many areas were left without functioning institutions, is based on three elements - political capital, human and financial resources. This allows pirates to attract local youth, to purchase weapon and speedboats and, most importantly, get at their disposal coastal areas where they can hold captured ships for several months or years.

Pirates in this East African country prefer places like Puntland and central Somalia, which provide sufficient political stability to do business, but not so strict government control to challenge piracy. Then they use bribes and threats of physical violence in order to tilt the scales in the struggle of politicians for power and gain long-term access to the coast.

According to the study, the political cover goes up to 86% of the proceeds from piracy. A large sum — sometimes 300 thousand dollars per ship — goes to government officials, businessmen, clans, militia and religious leaders as bribes and “development fees” to ensure non-interference by politicians in the pirated business. Teams of pirates are often hired from a specific clan or district, and their members receive significantly higher salaries than those paid by local employers. Pirates also pay more than local customers for food, energy and water. Thanks to local custom sharing of resources, income from piracy reaches local people and other interested parties, which creates a favorable political environment in which pirates can operate.

Their success has global implications. During the period from 2005 to 2012, more than 3740 crew members from 125 countries fell victim to Somali pirates and 97 of them died. It is estimated that hundreds of pirates were killed on the Somali side at sea. The ransom received during this period reached 385 million dollars. Piracy also harms trade, because shippers are forced to change transportation routes and spend more on fuel and insurance premiums, which, according to this study, costs the global economy 18 billion dollars a year.

The economy of Somalia is also affected: trade losses associated with piracy amount to 6 million dollars per year, and this is without taking into account the fact that piracy limits the possibilities of economic activity at sea. Cooperation between pirates and Islamist rebel groups also raises concerns about political stability in Somalia.

The international community has mainly focused on measures to combat piracy at sea, such as expanding naval patrols and ship security equipment, which has helped reduce the number of seizures. But in order to end piracy, these costly measures need to be strengthened and made permanent, which is unrealistic in the long run. Prophylactic measures on the coast, for example, to pay more young people so that they do not join the pirates, will only encourage boat owners to pay more crew members. Given the poverty level of the population from which pirates are usually recruited, owners can afford to pay more to pirates without significant damage to their profits.

To end piracy in the Horn of Africa, the study urges that emphasis be put on those who make it possible not to deal with piracy. Since the number of suitable coastal vessels for parking seized ships is limited, piracy will be less beneficial if Somalia closes access to safe anchorages or significantly increases the cost of access to the coast. In addition, central government could offer — along with built-in controls — incentives that encourage local stakeholders to end pirates, and learn from the successes and failures of the policy of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan and the fight against coca cultivation in Colombia.

At the core of this policy is the need for a deeper understanding of the political economy of resource sharing in order to correctly determine winners and losers and compensate for the losses of the latter. The lessons learned from this study go beyond the problem of eradicating piracy and raise the fundamental issue of state-building in Somalia. ”

One of the ideas of the fight against pirates in Somalia - the armed opposition of the Navy of different countries - was perfectly implemented. Much has been written about these operations, we will not repeat. We mention only the fact that a tacit order to the commanders of warships said about the sinking of pirate boats without any warning. With the surviving pirates too, did not stand on ceremony. The Indian Navy, who drowned the pirates, killed and tortured them without any regret, especially remembered the robbers.

For example, in 2008, the Indian frigate INS Tabar intercepted and shot from guns a Thai fishing vessel Ekawat Nava 5, which had just been captured by pirates, with guns and did not assist the crew dying in the fire. The next day, Indian and world media exploded with reports of the first in stories sinking of a pirate ship base. The triumph lasted for almost a week, until a single surviving fisherman was picked up by a passing vessel, who told about what really happened. But there was no condemnation of the world community. That is, the Indians were the first to show the pirates that they would not be able to stand under the protection of the hostages - they would be killed all together.

No less cruelty to pirates was shown by Russian sailors. Somali robbers captured the Moscow University tanker in May 2010. Special forces from the ship "Marshal Shaposhnikov" took the tanker by storm. How events developed further - no one knows, only the final is clear - the pirates were destroyed. The capture versions were different. "Russian commandos who rescued the Moscow University tanker from captivity did not release Somali pirates, as the Ministry of Defense had previously reported (one of the versions was that the robbers were put into a boat 500 kilometers from the coast and allowed to sail freely; after an hour, they lost contact with them ), and they shot them at point blank range, put the bodies in a boat and put them into the open sea. He made such a statement through news SomalilandPRESS portal is a pirate spokesman who wishes to remain anonymous. According to him, at least 10 people were killed in this way. ”

Another way to combat piracy is to legalize them, make them businessmen or rentiers, and ensure that their income and risks from this activity are no less than from robbery. In particular, from 2007 to 2012 in the year, the leaders of Somali pirates invested around $ 100 million in the purchase of residential and commercial real estate in Kenya. Basically, the money of the naval raiders went to buy housing in a suburb of Nairobi, namely in the Eastleigh area, where people from Somalia mostly live.

Somalia has become a testing ground for new military equipment. Since 2012, the US has been testing an MQ-8B Fire Scout reconnaissance unmanned helicopter there. The Americans installed on board the Fire Scout high-precision laser-guided missile, called the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System. They turned this device into a helicopter version of the Predator drone so that it could destroy the target as soon as the cameras spot it. The idea is to use an infrared thermal imager under the bottom of the helicopter as a laser target designator to capture the target to hit it with a rocket.

Another way to fight is to hire private military companies for money from Western countries that have established bases in Somalia to suppress pirate activity. Especially noticeable was the PMC Sicopex, a company created by senior retired officers of the elite units of the French army and special services. Since 2010, she has served on the coast of Somalia. Her tactics are the most severe persecution of any armed persons appearing on the coast. Over the past two years, the French have killed at least 300 Somali militants. Payment services PMC «Sicopex» is not less than 50 million euros per year.

In addition to the "stick" is the West and the "carrot". Some ringleaders of pirates of the West simply paid "rent" so that they would stop doing this activity. So, Mohammed Abdi Hayer, nicknamed “The Big Mouth”, received 20 million euros for promising to resign and disband his brigade.

The West also modernized Somali prisons, and also turned the practice of keeping detained pirates in prisons in the Seychelles. The Seychelles torture chambers are recognized as one of the most violent in the world - from 2007 to 2012, there are 47 Somali pirates who died for various reasons 19 people (mortality over 40% is higher than in Nazi concentration camps).

Today, Somali pirates are serving sentences in prisons with volleyball courts, computer classes and sewing lessons. The US has allocated $ 1,5 million to a new prison in Hargeisa, the largest city in the northwest of the capital of the unrecognized state of Somaliland. And the UN has built two more prisons for Somalia, each of which is designed for 500 people. The plans of the West construction of at least two more prisons in Somalia.

Finally, in these prisons, the West is actively spreading Christianity among pirate prisoners. It is believed that the transition to this religion from Islam reduces the risk of recurrence of robbery. In the past two years alone, more than 100 Somali pirates convicted of robberies against ships in the Indian Ocean have become Christians by accepting the biblical baptism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church,

“The circumstance that radically changed the fate of the inveterate thugs, for whom robbery and violence constituted the meaning of life, was the recent permission issued by the Somali authorities to watch the imprisoned Christian channel Hopechannel,” Christian preachers say. This is the only television channel allowed for viewing in Somali places of detention.

This whole story with Somali pirates - how the West can easily invent a new story in backward societies. The colonial practices developed by the First World over the centuries continue to work successfully in our days.

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  1. experienced
    experienced 4 July 2013 17: 10
    For a year now, Somali pirates have been unable to capture a single vessel.

    So it is not for nothing that the last decade all the exercises of the Navy have been going under the "fight against pirates" wassat In general, all this is very amazing, to unleash the threat, raise insurance payments and make PMCs work. I remember that in our time, Berezovsky also didn’t do bad business on the redemption of Russian slaves from Chechnya.
    1. Canep
      Canep 4 July 2013 17: 21
      The joint, coordinated efforts of piracy can put an end to it. If they had also piled on terrorists (without double standards), then they would have been done away with a long time ago.
      1. experienced
        experienced 4 July 2013 17: 53
        Quote: Canep
        If they had also piled on terrorists (without double standards), then they would have long been done away with.

        You are a dreamer ... It's all the same that one hand will fight with the other. The USSR at one time kept its "terrorists" on a leash, the USA kept its own. The scheme has remained the same, only Russia now does not have its own and it turns out to be a dilemma, the United States does not need to be against the "anti-Russian" terrorists, and they will go against their own "jackals", but for us to fight anti-American terrorists, they don’t annoy Russia hi
        1. Canep
          Canep 4 July 2013 18: 19
          What is impossible to dream. It’s violet to the mattresses whether there are terrorists or not, until they themselves are touched, and at the moment they are interested in momentary profits, political or what is better than economic, and not for a striped country, but for their super oligarchs.
    2. Army1
      Army1 4 July 2013 19: 15
      AK 630 is crying for these pirates. And in general I consider it necessary to have at least some kind of security on the ship. Well, or arm staff. Better than nothing.
      1. APASUS
        APASUS 4 July 2013 22: 09
        Quote: Army1
        AK 630 is crying for these pirates. And in general I consider it necessary to have at least some kind of security on the ship. Well, or arm staff. Better than nothing.

        I read the article and was amazed.
        Pirates such sheep are just the unfortunate children of the desert.
        And the fact that these pirates meet a vessel 500 miles from the shore in a bucket with a motor and know where to climb, which container to open does not surprise anyone? To meet a ship in the ocean by instruments is simply an illiterate airplane - this is what to win at roulette! Serious organizations and special services stand behind the pirates.
        Passed a couple of times infa on the Internet that American ships do not capture, and why would it ??
  2. andrei332809
    andrei332809 4 July 2013 17: 37
    there will be no Somali pirates-Lloyds come up with something else. they are ready to receive their profits in any way. that's who the natural pirates
    1. Airman
      Airman 4 July 2013 18: 04
      Quote: andrei332809
      there will be no Somali pirates-Lloyds come up with something else. they are ready to receive their profits in any way. that's who the natural pirates

      All attacks were carried out on a tip from Western banks and insurance companies.
  3. dark_65
    dark_65 4 July 2013 17: 37
    Build more prisons, better, and everyone will massively rush to board there.
    1. Airman
      Airman 4 July 2013 18: 00
      Quote: dark_65
      Build more prisons, better, and everyone will massively rush to board there.

      It would be better if several schools were built.
  4. razved
    razved 4 July 2013 17: 47
    Yes, someone got "a little" money not only from piracy, but also from the fight against it.
  5. Alex Nick
    Alex Nick 4 July 2013 17: 49
    There will not be these pirates, others will appear. The West will come up with another way to make money on suckers.
  6. ia-ai00
    ia-ai00 4 July 2013 17: 56
    The world is cruel, very cruel. I can’t rejoice at someone’s death. I am sure that harsh measures applied to pirates are justified, but from the realization of this it is not easier ...
  7. Strashila
    Strashila 4 July 2013 17: 56
    The pirates fulfilled their role, gave the foundations in this zone to the warships of the West ... now there is no need. Obviously they were controlled and obviously not from Somalia.
  8. krez-74
    krez-74 4 July 2013 17: 59
    Something tells me that the piracy of the Somali pirates is a carefully staged "making the dough". Cannon fodder from poor blacks does not count, but the leaders of these gangs, along the way, are associated with shadow players, with whom they share money!
    1. Day 11
      Day 11 4 July 2013 19: 15
      Of course! Someone leaked to them information about the passage of certain ships through the strait (what they bring, how much to ask, is there security). The leaders worked only for a percentage, and ordinary soldiers for food
  9. 3 inches.
    3 inches. 4 July 2013 19: 33
    Yes, there is a lot of interesting things. To begin with, the ransom for ships was transmitted only through 1 English insurance company. Moreover, the same company was engaged in the transportation of money. It was expensive. Now I’ll look for an article on this subject. It’s much more interesting and informative
  10. 3 inches.
    3 inches. 4 July 2013 19: 40
    in general, if anyone is interested, find an article in the marine bulletin. It’s called the phenomenon of Somali piracy. It’s very interesting and informative. And most importantly, everything is correctly dismantled.
  11. mole
    mole 4 July 2013 20: 21
    "Russian sailors showed no less cruelty to pirates. Somali robbers seized the tanker" Moscow University "in May 2010. Special forces from the ship" Marshal Shaposhnikov "took the tanker by storm. How events developed further - no one knows, only the ending is clear - pirates have been destroyed. "
    It was necessary to put the pirates in the corner as punishment !? wink Even if they destroyed, do not dawdle on someone else's. But respect for the flag appeared. It seems more than such rudeness did not show !? Who knows, give the info.
    1. itkul
      itkul 4 July 2013 21: 20
      Quote: Mole
      Even if they destroyed, do not dawdle on someone else's. But respect for the flag appeared. It seems more than such rudeness did not show !? Who knows, give the info.

      For which flag, we have the entire Novoship tanker fleet operating under a convenient flag, respectively, sailors working on these ships, neither seniority nor pension are accrued. Such are our new shipowners in Russia.
  12. Avenger711
    Avenger711 4 July 2013 20: 34
    Yeah, they shot and put it in a boat, and the boat in the ocean so that the hell knows who found it with the hell knows what the consequences are. Well, it's funny.
    1. 101
      101 4 July 2013 22: 40
      We recruit the shooting of pirates from Admiral Shaposhnikov and see for ourselves what yes how
      1. FunkschNNX
        FunkschNNX 5 July 2013 09: 43
        I saw the execution of the fragile little ship, but no pirates on it. Most likely they were kept in custody on board a ship, and their boat was sunk so that it would not hang out like a r ... in an ice hole. Especially a sailor with a gun delivered :-) whom could he kill there from such a distance :-)
  13. FunkschNNX
    FunkschNNX 4 July 2013 22: 53
    Pull up on a ray. Well, or, for lack of a rhea, a bullet in a black forehead and fish for food.
  14. 3 inches.
    3 inches. 4 July 2013 23: 37
    that's just the planting of Christianity ... Islam is not that religion. There is no turning back from it.
    1. Revolver
      Revolver 5 July 2013 05: 00
      There is a way out of Islam. There is no turning back - they cut off their heads for betraying religion. So, it’s right to baptize pirates - there will be no way back to Muslim brothers (they are pirates).
  15. Revolver
    Revolver 5 July 2013 04: 57
    There was once a glorious custom of the sea - to hang captured pirates in place without trial. It would not be bad to renew.
    1. Cat
      Cat 5 July 2013 05: 14
      Quote: Nagan
      There was once a glorious custom of the sea - to hang captured pirates in place without trial. It would not be bad to renew.

      It's a good idea, but for a start, it wouldn't hurt to hang all human rights activists and other "fighters for the rights of criminals" on the yards. Avoid, so say.
      I read an interview with one of the officers of "Marshal Shaposhnikov" - so it said that upon their return they almost soldered an article for "Leaving in Danger". The pirates, according to democratic concepts, were supposed to be fed, heated, placed in a cozy cockpit with all the conveniences and delivered to the base - for a fair civilized court. And then suddenly they, pirates, not out of malice attacked the tanker, suddenly they are poor and disadvantaged victims of some kind of dictatorial regime - and they, the unfortunate ones, were left to die in the middle of the okiyan ...
  16. PValery53
    PValery53 6 July 2013 14: 13
    As they say, "pirates - pirate death" ... There is no place for charity.
  17. Wanderer27
    Wanderer27 7 August 2015 21: 14
    Yes, the pirates thrived purely from the greed of the shipowners who wanted to hire security. And so for the pirates, all of these fleets and marines are redundant. It is enough to put a dozen soldiers on each ship with a pair of heavy machine guns that would carry pirate boats at a distance. Even missiles are sorry for their troughs to spend.