The hijacking of a small Iranian fishing vessel off Somalia, was the latest incident in a series of hijackings in the so-called High Risk Area (HRA) off Somalia. Although the region had seen piracy incidents decreasing, in recent times they have been revived.
In its latest issue paper, Oceans Beyond Piracy, touch upon the issue of privately contracted armed maritime security, saying that the use of armed guards as a security solution at sea is characterized by private security companies providing armed protection for assets.
In the latest paper by Oceans Beyond Piracy, OBP addresses the issue of Vessel Protection Detachments, as some flag states began authorizing and deploying uniformed military personnel to embark on commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
In the Gulf Guinea, the nations are using Privately Contracted Armed Security, a model of embarked maritime security, which involves the contracting of uniformed police or military personnel from coastal or port states onto a vessel in the anchorage, port, or territorial waters of that state.
Oceans Beyond Piracy is releasing a series of issue papers to further classify and define each identified model of contracted maritime security. In its latest issue paper it explores the model of State Affiliated Escorts.
In a recent white paper, OBP explores the model of Vessel Protection Detachments, uniformed military personnel embarked on a vessel with explicit approval of the Flag State. Unlike private security actors, VPD operators are trained to follow strict and defined rules of engagement through traditional military chain of command.
The UKTMO has reportedly announced that the fishing dhow Asayr 2 has been released by the Somali pirates that had taken it for use as a mother ship off Puntland.
According to the Oceans Beyond Piracy, Somali pirates have kept 7 hostages on board the vessel hijacked on March 23th 2017 off Somalia, indicating that it could be intended for use as a mother ship for further attacks.
EU Naval Force in Somalia and OBP finally confirmed that the fuel tanker Aris 13 and its crew are safe and on their way to safe port after the armed pirates departed the ship.
Some recent incidents involving vessels off the Horn of Africa do not seem to reflect traditional forms of piracy, and could signal major maritime disruptions if an effective response is not developed. OBP examines whether the existing counter-piracy framework can help address these evolving threats.
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