n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Comparative issues of piracy and terrorism on the west and east coasts of Africa with a focus on Nigeria and Somalia

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Piracy is an ancient phenomenon. The last decade was dominated by piracy around the Strait of Malacca, increasingly so by Somalian pirates. International co-operation has succeeded in bringing the situation under control, through mainly naval operations, security on board vessels and some land-based initiatives to rehabilitate pirates and to strengthen Somalia's government. While this was happening, piracy and maritime crimes as well as other forms of criminal activity have increased in the Gulf of Guinea. The focus of these activities is based around Nigerian territorial waters and the situation is further aggravated by other maritime crimes such as illegal fishing as well as land-based crime and terrorism. The presence of al-Shabaab in Somalia and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and Boko Haram in Nigeria are creating particularistic dynamics that affect the battle against piracy, maritime crimes and other forms of crime in the Gulf of Guinea. This article looks at the two regions with specific reference to Somalia and Nigeria to draw comparisons and differences between the two regions. The dynamics of different world philosophies, as manifested in the lives of different groups in the region as well as the inherent governmental problems contributing to piracy have been addressed. Finally, some recommendations were made.

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