n Journal of African Union Studies - Maritime security issues in the Indian Ocean region : Indian approaches towards the problem of piracy in the Gulf of Aden

Volume 2, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


The Indian Ocean, that at one time had been described as a 'British Lake' became a thoroughfare for maritime trade that crossed through the Suez Canal and the Malacca Straits connecting the growing economies of the East and the West by carrying raw materials, oil and finished goods. It had seen a great power rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union during the cold war years and now has become a major global focal point of a conflict over resources, trade and environmental issues. The post-cold war era has also seen the emergence of regional aspirations of littoral states for a greater say in the issues of stability and order in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). These aspirations that had, at one time, been articulated in such terms as the Indian Ocean Community, Peace Zone, Nuclear Free Zone, had not always been backed by maritime capabilities of these littoral states. Today the littoral players have started to emerge as relatively significant actors willing to have a dialogue both, amongst themselves and with the extra regional powers. The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is one such initiative.

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