n Historia - A call for Africa to turn away from sea blindness
Towards Good Order at Sea: African Experiences, Francois Vreÿ and Thomas Mandrup (Eds.) : book review

Volume 60, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



Since the time centuries ago when ships were first used to transport merchandise from one place to another, pirates also arrived on the scene to prey on merchant (and in due course also other) ships. Although piracy is usually associated with the tales of swashbuckling buccaneers from especially the eighteenth century, the phenomenon has never really disappeared, albeit that for most of the twentieth century it was under control. However, the beginning of the third millennium has seen an upsurge in pirate and related activities. According to the influential London based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), maritime security is a matter of global concern, with an increase in the number of pirate attacks, the geographical escalation of the problem, as well as ongoing maritime disputes. (See, for example the IISS's 2013 edition of their flagship publication, , as well as "The 2013 Chart of Conflict" included in the 2013 edition.) Most incidents of piracy take place off the Horn of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, and off the Philippines, but they have also taken place in the Caribbean, off South America's west and east coasts, on India's west coast, as well as in the Bay of Bengal, and near Singapore and Indonesia.

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