Piracy

Primary Sources

Code of Conduct Concerning the Repression of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships, and Illicit Maritime Activity in West and Central Africa

Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) created a code of conduct, modeled after the Djibouti Code of Conduct, to increase regional cooperation in combatting piracy. The code of conduct was signed on June 25, 2013, after a conference on maritime safety and security in Yaounde, Cameroon and is also known as the Yaounde Declaration.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Regional Security; Piracy

Ask CFR Experts

Have U.S. relations with Somalia improved since stronger maritime security measures have decreased piracy?

Asked by Charlotte Stafford, from Columbia University

The United States restored official relations with Somalia in January 2013 after years of civil unrest there, reflecting an increasingly stable Somali political environment. Better relations with Somalia, however, have little to do with the decrease in piracy, and the drop in offshore piracy cannot be attributed to Somali government efforts.

Read full answer

See more in Piracy; Somalia

Backgrounder

Combating Maritime Piracy

Authors: Christopher Alessi and Stephanie Hanson

A surge in pirate attacks off the Somali coast in recent years has prompted the deployment of an international coalition of navies. But experts say that military force alone cannot address the underlying issue of failed Somali governance.

See more in Somalia; Piracy

Primary Sources

Report of the United Nations Assessment Mission on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

This report of the United Nations Assessment Mission on Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea was released on January 18, 2012. The document was mandated by the UN Secretary-General, to report the "mission to the Gulf of Guinea to assess the scope of the threat of piracy in the region, and take stock of national and regional capacities to ensure maritime safety and security in the region and make recommendations for a possible United Nations response".

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Piracy

Op-Ed

Bombing Somalia is a Dud

Author: Micah Zenko
Los Angeles Times

Micah Zenko argues that given the ineffectiveness of recent U.S. operations in Somalia, airstrikes against Somali pirates would be militarily and politically unsuccessful.

See more in Somalia; Piracy

Must Read

Chatham House: Pirates and How to Deal With Them

Author: Roger Middleton

This briefing note, drawing on a meeting of a roundtable of experts held at Chatham House on 26 February 2009 by the Africa Programme and the International Law Discussion Group, clarifies some
of the legal concerns around combating piracy off the Somali coast.

See more in Somalia; Piracy

Must Read

GQ: "The Pirates Have Seized the Ship"

Author: Jeffrey Gettleman

Even as gunboats from across the globe move into their waters, the desperate, well-armed, and increasingly bold bandits of Somalia keep swarming the decks of the world's largest ships. They take what they want, they don't leave until the (higher and higher) ransoms are paid, and they won't stop until a modern-day war against piracy breaks out.

See more in Somalia; Piracy