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MV Maersk Cadiz attacked by pirates, proof that piracy is still rampant off the Coast of Somalia.

14 August 2021, 12:11 WIB | THE NEW YORK TIMES | CRISIS

CTF 151 Hampered by UNCLOS in its pursuit.


Aug. 14. 2021


Washington, United States – CJTF 151 cannot seem to solve the problem of piracy in Somalia.


Combined Task Force 151 is one of the three task forces currently operating under the auspices of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF). Established to suppress piracy off the coast of Somalia, it has managed in some levels to suppress though not entirely erase the practice of Piracy within the region. The level of piracy attacks has decreased from dozens a year at its height to merely single digits for the year. This however disguises the fact that the material conditions that permits the birth of Piracy in the first place still exists and not much has been changed.


The recent attack on the MV Maersk Cadiz illustrates this fact clearly, CTF 151 was not able to effectively pursue the pirates due to them fleeing to territorial waters. While pirates caught by CTF 151 was effectively tried by the judicial system, these pirates that flee were not, due to the weakness of Somali law enforcement. The existence of failed states such as Somalia clearly were not envisioned to be a possibility by the drafters of UNCLOS, this may be of interest to the current meeting of SPECPOL which just now is currently discussing the issue of Piracy. If SPECPOL finds it necessary perhaps it will become a point of recommendation during the next periodic review of UNCLOS.


Aside from the legal issue, Rear Admiral Luiz Andrade, the current head of the CTF 151 has this to state about the problem. “The current extent of the piracy problem of Somalia cannot be divorced from the material conditions present within the country, while the Somali state has improved in recent years, they still face major challenges to becoming a stable country. The weak state government has failed to effectively build a functioning economic system, and international aid cannot replace the functions of government”. The admiral further explained his belief that capacity building efforts to improve the Somali state’s law enforcement capability remains crucial.

Jakarta International MUN 2021