Somalia – Timeline

Somalia piracy timeline



June 2007: Director of ICC International Maritime Bureau calls for assistance from world’s naval forces to combat piracy off the Somalia coast

July 10, 2007: Int’l Maritime Organization (UN) and UN World Food Program issue Joint Communiqué, calling for “concerted and coordinated international action” to deal with piracy, which is endangering supply of food aid to Somalia

July 11, 2007: Reacting to IMO and WFR joint communiqué, UN Secretary General states his intention to raise the piracy issue with the UN Security Council

October 2007: The transitional government in Mogadishu allows the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke to chase the hijacked Golden Mori into Somalia’s territorial water.


April 28, 2008: The United States, Great Britain, France and Panama introduce a draft resolution to the UN Security Council aimed at combating maritime piracy for ransom off the eastern coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The resolution would authorize nations to use “all necessary means” to fight piracy in Somalia’s territorial waters in cooperation with the Somali interim government.


June 2, 2008: The United Nations’ Security Council unanimously passes its Somalia maritime piracy resolution (Resolution 1816).
For a period of six months, nations cooperating with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) now have
permission to send their navies into Somalia’s territorial waters to combat acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea using “all necessary means”.


June 15, 2008: The Somali interim government hires the French private security firm Secopex to help combat piracy. This lucrative contract is worth between $75-$150 million annually for the next three years.


October 7, 2008: UN Security Council Resolution 1838 calls for intensified action against piracy in Somalia, “in a manner consistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”


October 19, 2008: Seven NATO warships arrive off the coast of Somalia to help combat piracy, and to specifically protect U.N. World Food Program ships that are transporting humanitarian relief supplies to Somalia.


November 7, 2008: Rampant maritime piracy in the region finally begins to force companies to take the drastic step to reroute vessels instead of risk having them and their crews hijacked. One company so far openly admits it is now sending all ships around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope instead of through the Suez Canal and thus the waters off Somalia.


November 10, 2008: The European Union is sending a joint naval force called Eunavor to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden. The seven-ship fleet will conduct Operation Atalanta starting in December 2008. The UK will lead Eunavor with participation from France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Spain.


November 18, 2008: IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos goes in front of the UN Security Council to plead for more aggressive action against the rampant pirate activity off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.


November 28, 2008: Arab nations bordering the Red Sea are finally discussing measures to thwart rampant maritime piracy in the region. While the threat posed by pirates on commercial shipping is the main reason for this cooperation, another vital motivating factor is the prevalence of foreign warships in the region and the threat the Arab countries feel this poses to their national security.


December 12, 2008: The “Manama Dialogue” opens in Bahrain. The 25 nations attending this regional security summit cover a great deal. The first vital subject up for discussion is how to combat Somali maritime piracy. In addressing the problem, senior U.S. defense officials express doubts about launching operations on land against Somalia’s pirates.


December 17, 2008: The United Nations Security Council approves a resolution (Resolution 1851) allowing international military forces to conduct land-based operations against suspected pirates in Somalia. This is a U.S.-backed resolution despite the fact that senior U.S. defense officials have said the U.S. does not have the appropriate intelligence to conduct military strikes on land against the pirates.


January 2009: Creation of Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), in response to calls in Resolution 1851.


November 2009: UN Security Council Resolution 1897, renews Resolutions 1846 and 1851 and extends them a further 12 months


April 2010: UN Security Council Resolution 1918, calls on the Secretary General to provide options for ensuring the prosecution and imprisonment of pirates off of Somalia.


April 2010: UN Trust Fund announces funding of 5 projects focused on prosecuting piracy suspects; 4 help strengthen institutions in Seychelles and in Somali regions of Puntland and Somaliland; 5th helps local media disseminate anti-pirate messages in Somalia.


June 2010: $9.3 million to Kenya, opening of new high security courtroom in Kenya to deal with piracy (Kenya has 123 suspects); had announced in April it would no longer accept piracy cases.


July 2010: UN Secretary General’s report in response to request in Resolution 1918, proposing seven options for ensuring prosecution and imprisonment of pirates off Somalia.


July 2010: Call for applications for consultants on “Somalia Inland Action Plan


September 2010: Contact Group meeting recommendations


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last revised 10/7/2010