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Studies 26 September, 2016

The Role of the GCC Countries in Ending Piracy in the Horn of Africa

Afyare Elmi and Said Mohammed

​Afyare Elmi and Said Mohammed are colleagues at Qatar University. Elmi, Assistant Professor at Qatar University’s International Affairs Department. He is the author of “Understanding the Somalia conflagration: Identity, political Islam and Peacebuilding", published by Pluto Press. Said is a Research Associate at the Qatar University Research Project on Piracy in the Horn of Africa.

Introduction

Piracy in the Horn of Africa has had a far-reaching security and economic impact both globally and regionally. The World Bank estimated that between 2008 and 2012, the global economy lost $18 billion annually due to Somali piracy. Every year, more than 22,000 vessels, almost 20 percent of commercial ships world-wide transit through the Gulf of Aden. The majority of the oil products originating from the Gulf region and destined for Europe pass this important route. This paper examines the international community’s military engagement and that of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in countering piracy in the Horn of Africa. It then assesses the GCC countries’ role in combating piracy. Finally, due to the location of many of the oil-producing countries in the Gulf, and their proximity to the Somalia coastline, the paper argues that the GCC countries should take a leadership role in investing in long-term on-shore solutions in order to permanently end piracy in the Horn of Africa.


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