Where is Somalia? Somalia is located on the Eastern tip of Africa, which is also referredto as the Horn of Africa. This Close-up of Somalia shows where the majority of piracyhas occurred from 2006 up to 2011.
Somali government collapsed in in 1991 due to a number of factors but mainly because a lot of Somaligovernment officials were corrupt, the president of Somalia at the time had order them to be executed.However, some officials escaped and formed their own military regime and fought back severely injuringthe president and sending Somali into a civil war leaving Somalia lawless up until 2006.
Since the collapse of Somalias government a lot of Somalias waters were unregulated, illegalfishing decimated their once rich tuna waters. European companies also negotiated with Somaliwarlords to exchange guns for rights to dump barrels of toxic waste into Somali waters, now Somaliofficials wont reveal who was behind the dumping for legal reasons.
The People of Somalia have been dying from Radiation sickness caused by the dumping of radioactive wastein their coastal waters . As a result their natural fishing grounds have been contaminated as well. This is anongoing reason why piracy continues, to protect their ocean from illegal dumping.
The high poverty levels and lack of resources makes Somalia a hard place to live in and survive.Poverty is a large reason many of the people of Somalia choose the life of piracy.
This is what a typical Somali Pirate looks like out on sea. The mask will hide their identity in case they takehostages, but not all pirates wear masks. The weapons are used more to intimidate the boats they willhijack, but they will be used if the vessel being hijacked isnt cooperating or they are under attack.
Khat is a plant that is harvested in Somalia, it is chewed by pirates to give them a high. It is considered astimulant similar to cocaine in which it makes you alert and it suppresses hunger. Khat is regularly chewedby pirates through out the day.
Somali Pirates boarding a vessel will usually find an easy way of getting on the vessel. In this case they wereable to board the vessel through an unconfirmed object on the side of the vessel.
Victims of the hijacking are usually taken as hostages for a ransom. Ransoms can sometimes reachmillions of dollars. Hostages are also sold off as slaves if ransoms arent paid or if they are not killed.
Not all pirates are successful in their raids. Piracy has also become a very serious crime in recentyears and pirates have become a big target for naval forces around the world.
Suspicious ships are usually stopped and checked by naval forces for any evidence of piracy such asguns, stolen good or sometimes even hostages.
With Somali pirate attacks at a record low this year it seems as if the once glorious reign of the pirates isnow coming to an end. Stats are accurate from, EU Naval Force Piracy Statistics 03 December 2012.