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Vol 50 No 6

Published 20th March 2009


Anti-pirate alliance

Expensive naval alliances have formed to deter the sea raiders who prey on ships off the Horn

Millions of dollars, hundreds of troops and over two dozen ships from around the world chase pirates off the Somali coast (AC Vol 49 No 24). Yet the rate of pirate attacks remains as high as at the end of 2008. Somalis and others ask if all this activity is proportionate to the size of the problem. Fewer than one in a hundred of the merchant vessels that pass through the Gulf of Aden each year are attacked, and many attacks are not successful. The cost to the shipping business since January 2008 may be around US$200 million for a multi-billion dollar industry, certainly less than the cost of keeping 20-30 warships on patrol.

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