There is still no cure for sea syphilis

42281.gifSea piracy has been gaining strength during the recent years. Sailors have already dubbed this form of piracy "sea syphilis." The disease continues to spread all over the world, and it seems that there is no cure to it. Indeed, many countries have started taking tough measures against sea pirates, but the latter continue to multiply.

The report from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) unveiled Tuesday in New York said that Somali pirates captured 37 civil vessels during nine months of 2010 vs. 34 vessels seized during nine months of 2009. As of October 11, 2010, 389 people and 18 vessels were being held ransom by the pirates.

At the same time, the number of attacks has reduced. Pirates attacked vessels 193 times off Somalia coasts from January to September of 2009. This year, there were 164 attacks registered during the same period of time. The authors of the report said that the attacks reduced in number owing to the efforts taken by the international maritime coalition, which secures navigation in the western part of the Indian Ocean.

However, pirates have become smarter - they learn by their mistakes. They have also expanded the area for their attacks and hijackings targeting civil vessels in the regions where military vessels of the anti-pirate coalition appear rarely.

Sergey Aprelev, a well-known Russian historian, a maritime law expert, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that it had taken the international community too long to realize that there was no legal base in the world for the struggle against sea piracy.

"Just recollect the situation when Russian sailors seized a group of pirates, but then had to release them because they did not know what to do with them next because there was no law that they could follow. Needless to say that sea piracy starts on land. If Somali pirates were not land-based and if they had no conditions for it, they wouldn't exist. Somalia obviously cannot handle the problem of piracy. This country stopped its existence as a state in 1991, after the collapse of Mohamed Siad Barre's dictatorship. Nowadays, Somalia's very weak federal government controls only a part of the capital of Mogadishu and several other regions of the country. That's all there is to it! Pirates control the coast of the country entirely.

"For some reason, the UN does not use the notion of 'peacemaking forces' when it goes about sea piracy. In Russia, there is such term as 'peace enforcement' that appeared as a result of the war with Georgia in 2008. Why not arranging international coast brigades in Somalia so that they could destroy their bases? I am certain that the UN will make such a decision sooner or later," the expert said.

Andrey Mikhailov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov