n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Arms into Somalia : potential for an escalation of piracy - : East Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 06
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A decision by United States (US) President Barak Obama to approve the sending of military aid to Somalia presents a great opportunity for Somalia's fledgling security forces to gain the critical training and equipment necessary for fighting both al-Shabaab terrorists on land and to train an effective coast guard. This was swiftly followed by the awarding of over US$ 279 million in financial and military aid to Somalia from Britain during an early May summit in London. With additional support, a newly-stabilising Somalia could leverage the work done by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces throughout the country and a hard-won battle against pirates at sea by foreign naval forces. That said, if mismanaged, and there are many possibilities for this to occur, the influx of funding and support for Somali forces can lead to a resurgent piracy problem off the Horn of Africa. Due to better armament and the benefit of training from well-meaning international agencies, many Somalis may gravitate back to the pirate havens in Puntland and return to the seas, better equipped and better prepared to face the security presence awaiting them.

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