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How serious is the threat of maritime piracy?

Piracy represents a true threat to the international community as it imperils the safety of seafarers and global commercial maritime routes.  Piracy also has contributed to the overall insecurity in Somalia and has aggravated economic hardship for Somali communities, especially in Puntland.  As a result, the international community has recognized the need for Puntland and other Somali authorities to play the primary role in eradicating piracy.

What is the economic cost of maritime piracy?

The daily maritime newspaper Lloyd’s List estimates that piracy costs the shipping industry alone $16 billion annually.

Why did the Puntland Government establish the PMPF? 

The international community has repeatedly requested that the Puntland State of Somalia and other regional authorities increase their efforts to establish security and the rule of law.  UN Security Council Resolution 1976 (2011) is illustrative.  UN Resolution 1976 urges that “regional authorities in Somalia” increase their efforts to establish “a system of governance, rule of law, and police control in lawless areas where land-based activities related to piracy are taking place.” Puntland has established the PMPF as one of the primary instruments to answer these calls.  The training is intended to create a professional, locally recruited police force to fight piracy, protect the region’s maritime resources and deliver much-needed humanitarian relief supplies to the Somali people.

Do the objectives of the PMPF go beyond counter-piracy?

The PMPF is intended to deter, detect, and eradicate piracy, illegal fishing and other coastal crimes; to protect marine resources; and to deliver relief supplies to Puntland’s citizens.  By doing so, it will help to maintain peace and stability in the region.  The land-based PMPF carries out its mission from strategically important coastal sites. It plays no role in border disputes.

To whom does the PMPF report?

The PMPF operates solely at the direction and control of the Puntland Government [and in coordination with the TFG].

Will the PMPF’s efforts be coordinated with other international counter-piracy efforts?

Piracy off the coast of Somalia is an international problem that must be addressed comprehensively.  The Puntland Government will continue to welcome the support of, and coordinate with, the international community in our efforts to combat piracy and bring security and stability to Somalia.

Is the Puntland Government contracting with private firms to train the PMPF?

Yes. The contracting decisions have not been finalized.  The ideal contractors will bring extensive experience managing complex, multi-disciplinary projects in some of the most demanding environments in the world.  

What will be the scope of contractors’ activities?

The contractors will support humanitarian assistance and security and law enforcement capacity building efforts in Puntland. These activities include: assisting in the distribution of relief supplies to drought and famine affected areas, training the PMPF, providing logistics support and building and maintaining the PMPF’s facilities.

Who is providing funding for the PMPF?

Puntland has sought and is grateful for the generous international support it has received to establish a coastal marine force to combat piracy and restore economic activities to our coastal communities. International donors, including the UAE, responded to this call—and to the calls of the international community to assist Somalia’s regional authorities—by funding this initiative.

What is the size and organizational structure of the PMPF?

The PMPF is a professional coastal police force that ultimately will be a robust organization comprised of locally recruited police officers trained to serve across numerous law enforcement disciplines.

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