World Bank launches report on piracy off Somalia

The Work Bank on Thursday jointly launched a report on piracy off the horn of Africa country coast with Somali government with call for the need of on-shore solutions and international support for rebuilding the horn of Africa nation. The nearly 200-page long report, entitled "The Somali Pirates: Ending the Threat, Rebuilding a Nation", tries to assess the global and regional impact of piracy off the coast of Somalia and then analyzes the pirate business model to help shape the policy debate on long-term strategies to ending it.

Somali government welcomed the report and pledged to implement its recommendations both in the short-term and long-term.

The report's finding suggests that counter-piracy policies consist mainly of law enforcement measures and that initiatives to deter potential recruits have been "ineffective".

The World Bank report acknowledged the deployment of naval forces and systematic provision of armed guards onboard vessels have contributed in the drop of piracy activities on the Somalia coast and the Gulf of Aden but says such model is "not sustainable as a resolution of the piracy threat".

The report says the average global cost of piracy is estimated at 18 billion US dollars a year through the disruption of the trade of goods transiting through the Arabian Sea. It also slowed down tourism in the East Africa region.

The report says that there has been a regional decline in both exports of fish-related products and catches of fish, such as tuna and that "evidence of overfishing and stock depletion remains inconclusive".

Regarding the connection between pirates and local insurgency group of Al-Shabaab the report says cooperation between the two sides is largely unsytemic and between individuals and small groups and through subclans.

The report rules out the possibility of "maritime terrorism" borne out of interaction between piracy and local insurgency.

The World Bank report finally suggest "Paradigm shift", calling for the integration of law enforcement and development assistance policies into what it termed a political contract with local stakeholders.

Philippines News agency