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Introduction: The International Response To Somali Piracy

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Chapter Summary

Piracy attacks on international shipping off the coast of Somalia attracted worldwide media attention from 2008 onwards. The term 'Somali piracy' refers to the activities of Somalia-based groups who aim to generate income by attacking ships at sea. In practice the intended victims are mostly foreign merchant vessels sailing in the Gulf of Aden or in the Western Indian Ocean. Major foreign state actors include governments from countries that engage in naval counterpiracy missions off Somalia. The current operations in the Gulf of Aden probably constitute the first time in history when all of the world's major naval powers bring together significant naval assets in a specific region for a - to some extent - combined response to piracy. The fact that there is an international dimension to the response has been widely noted, and also that a military response is in itself insufficient to end piracy.

Keywords: Gulf of Aden; Somali Piracy; Western Indian Ocean



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