Crime Pays, and piracy pays very well these days. Piracy is by far not a new issue. In the first few years of the 19th century the United States had to send Marines to the shores of Tripoli to combat an enduring piracy problem. However, the last few years the world has been seeing a drastic increase in piracy off the East African coast. In increase to such an extent it has brought global adversaries together to combat the threat. Since 2007, the number of successful pirate attacks has increased nearly fourfold. There were a total of 293 pirate attacks worldwide in 2008, of which 38% occurred within the Gulf of Aden or off the coast of Somalia (Leader). Read More
Piracy off the coast of Somalia splashed onto the global stage in 2009 at near epidemic levels. The impact of Somali piracy affected the entire global community as shipping costs soared costing the global community as much as $18 Billion.[i] The wave of piracy attacks however was short lived due to a quick and comprehensive response by the international community to counter piracy and its causes. The world’s response to Somalia continues today and is a reversal of 20 years of alienation prior; that made possible Somalia’s de-evolution into a failed state that the world ignored and feared simultaneously. The success countering the three-year piracy epidemic however shadows the success of piracy for Somalia by demanding attention and assistance for a withering nation – in effect: piracy saved Somalia. Read More
This is a rising situation that in many ways, mirror Somali piracy in the Gulf of Aden and around East Africa. It is critical that the world recognizes the importance of the Gulf of Guinea and the greater West African region. I hope that the increased media attention from the 2-300 young females kidnapped by Boko Haram that hit the Western media this week, will bring global attention to Nigeria.
Whether the world wants to ignore Nigeria or not, come 2015 there is little chance that they will be able to. In 2015, Nigeria’s election will surely bring a conflict between the nations factions to include Boko Haram and the MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) who continue to pose a threat to regional and national security. To better understand the simmering explosion that Nigeria is I recommend checking out David Kilcullen’s recently published Out of the Mountains book that details the Nigerian urban & peri-urban environments and their propensity to develop into a full violent collapse.