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Ten incidents of hijacking in Somalia’s territorial waters

Amid ongoing threats to commercial shipping in the Red Sea and increased maritime security risks in the Gulf of Aden, ten incidents of hijacking in Somalia’s territorial waters and in the Arabian Sea since November 2023 have revitalized concerns about the return of Somali Piracy, previously believed to have all but ceased.

Given the large number of commercial ships that transit the area on approach to the Gulf of Aden, regional counter-piracy authorities and shipping companies and attentive to the recent increase in hijacking incidents. Some are concerned this may signal a further phase of heightened security risks to commercial shipping.

As at January 30 2024, the recent phase of incidents have occurred in five clusters:

  1. Near to Qandala, on the northern shores of Puntland.

  2. Near to Al Hafun, on Somalia’s eastern coast

  3. Near to Eyl, on Somalia’s eastern coast

  4. Offshore, east of the island of Socotra

  5. Offshore, 400 - 600 NM (approx. 900 km) east of Puntland

Organizing an effective response will rely on rapid information sharing, stability of maritime cooperation mechanisms established before the advent of threats to shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden and renewed attention to the factors on land that are motivating and enabling criminal networks to self-organize and take advantage of opportunity at Sea.

A report from Maritrace posted on February 2, 2024.


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