While many are applauding the lowest piracy numbers in three years, Rear Admiral Bernhard Teuteberg of South Africa is warning that this doesn’t mean international forces can rest.
Teuteberg, who is the director of maritime strategy for the South African Navy, announced that his country would be sending anti-piracy patrols to Mozambique and Tanzania this month. “We intend towards the end of November once again to put certain forces and assets within the northern Mozambican channel and off the coast of Tanzania,” he said.
Because the Somali government is not functional enough to satisfactorily police their own waters, an international coalition has needed to be formed to safeguard the many ships that transit the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Thanks to this effort, piracy incidents are at their lowest since 2008.
But the Rear Admiral warns that the problem will increase again if navies do not continue to police the waters: “I think if those forces would withdraw, w e would once again see some increase in piracy.”
Teuteberg asserted that anti-piracy efforts can never be ceased, and warships need to be constantly on patrol in the east African waters. Without the key deterrent present, many feel that ships would still be at risk in the vacuum the departure of international vessels would leave.