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Protecting Human Security in Africa$
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Ademola Abass

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578986.001.0001

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Piracy off Somalia: The ‘Emperors and the Thieves of the Oceans’ in the 21st Century

Piracy off Somalia: The ‘Emperors and the Thieves of the Oceans’ in the 21st Century

(p.122) 7 Piracy off Somalia: The ‘Emperors and the Thieves of the Oceans’ in the 21st Century
Protecting Human Security in Africa

Efthymios Papastavridis

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the problem of piracy in Africa. It first considers the possible legal justifications for the current counter-piracy operations and then scrutinizes the relevant measures taken a posteriori, such as the detainment and arrest of the pirates as well as their transfer to Kenya. The present situation gives rise to a host of international legal questions, including the problem of human security. It is a truism that pirates are treated as hostes humani generis and this has inescapable ramifications with regard to the protection of their human rights. The chapter argues that the international community and the states involved in the relevant counter-piracy operations — far from aiming at eliminating the veritable sources of this activity, such as the political situation in Somalia, the extreme poverty, the depletion of fishing resources, and waste dumping in the latter's shores — are engaged in short-term and ambivalent measures which only temporarily alleviate the problem.

Keywords:   Somalia, piracy, international law, law of the sea, counter-piracy measures, human rights, human security

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