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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Piracy: Indonesia Could be the New Somalia

April 22, 2016

Image: Indonesian Navy

Image: Indonesian Navy

 Commercial ships have been told to avoid shipping routes around Indonesia and Philippines amid fears that piracy could be reaching Somalian levels, according to Reuters

 
Luhut Pandjaitan, Chief Security Minister for Indonesia, said: "We don't want to see this become a new Somalia.”
 
A spate of kidnappings and pirate attacks in the waterways between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines has prompted the three countries to explore the option of having joint patrols. 
 
The waters form part of major shipping arteries that carry US$40 billion worth of cargo a year, analysts say, and the corridor is used by fully laden supertankers from the Indian Ocean that cannot use the crowded Malacca Strait waterway.
 
A total of 18 Indonesians and Malaysians have been taken captive in three separate attacks on tugboats in Philippine waters along the route, by groups suspected of ties to the al-Qaeda linked Abu Sayyaf militant network in the Philippines.
 
The Indonesian Navy has instructed all commercial vessels "to avoid piracy-prone waters around the southern Philippines", a spokesman for the Indonesian military said.
 
Piracy is currently an issue of concern for maritime companies and affiliates globally, since levels have persisted in 2015 in comparison to 2014.
 
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