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Stormy seas ahead for the pirates?

April 15, 2009

A new spate of attacks on shipping has made it quite clear that Somali pirates are not going to stop their activities just now, even though military operations by the United States and France have killed five of the buccaneers.

The international naval flotilla is stretched to protect the thousands of ships that use the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

Another reason for the pirates’ boldness is believed to have been the onset of good weather, which favours the small speed boats they use to stalk the lumbering merchantmen.

But if the navies’ capabilities are limited by the vast sea area they have to cover, the pirates may soon face a more compelling reason to rein in their activities, as my colleague Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu reports.

“The sea is calm now, but by May it will be terrible to sail on the Indian Ocean,” said Somali pirate Farah Hussein.

“Our attacks on ships will probably decrease in the coming month. But we might move to the Gulf of Aden to continue our mission,” he told Reuters by telephone.

If the pirates have to confine themselves to the Gulf of Aden, it should be easier for the naval flotilla to catch them, shouldn’t it?


I think that the boats that pass though troubled areas should be equipped with weapons to defend themselves

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