PeaceWire | Summer 2019

Maritime Piracy



Maritime Security and Peace


Reporting on Crime in the Maritime Domain

State of Piracy 2018 - Assessing the Human Cost was released, with support from the Global Maritime Crime Programme at UNODC, on June 17. This year's report assessed piracy and armed robbery statistics in the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.  
The findings were presented at the meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia in Mauritius, and at a table top exercise with the Global Maritime Crime Programme in Trinidad & Tobago. While 2018 is the 9th year that OEF has assessed the human cost of piracy across the world, it is the first year we have received external financial support to produce it. You can see the findings for this year's report here: State of Maritime Piracy 2018

Soft Targets & Black Markets: Terrorist Activities in the Maritime Domain assesses the ways in which sea blindness, or the failure to recognize the importance of the maritime space, is exploited by illicit non-state actors to finance and facilitate their objectives onshore. By breaking down maritime activities into five categories (Tactical Support, Target, Take, Traffic & Trade, and Tax & Extort), this report aims to help stakeholders identify the ways in which sea blindness contributes to insecurity and organized political violence on land. Soft Targets & Black Markets was launched on May 23 and has been presented in Denmark and South Africa. You can read the full report here: Soft Targets & Black Markets: Terrorist Activities in the Maritime Domain

Somalia Fisheries Forum 2019: Building a Roadmap for Small-Scale Somali Fisheries

Photo©FAO/Arete/Will Baxter
On April 29-30, Secure Fisheries, the Federal Government of Somalia Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and the Puntland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources hosted the second Somalia Fisheries Forum. The forum included over 300 participants from the Somali business sector, academia, government, and civil society, and all forum sponsorships came from Somali organizations. 
Sessions explored gaps in sector capacity and tangible approaches to supporting and improving small-scale Somali fisheries. Participants generated recommendations in each session and made several important commitments, including:
  • continued skills training programs especially targeting women, and broad, multi-level support for fisheries co-management;
  • an opportunity for a student from City University to study at the University of Nairobi; an export association to clarify and harmonize export requirements;
  • a working group to harmonize fisheries data collection and identify a new location for Project Kalluun expansion.  
The Somalia Minister of Fisheries, Puntland Minister of Fisheries, and Puntland State President actively participated in the forum, providing an opportunity to coordinate governance efforts and learn from local fishers, processors, and companies. Read more and see forum presentations and the agenda-at-a-glance here. And stay tuned for the upcoming SFF 2019 outcomes report. 

MOU with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources 

Secure Fisheries is pleased to announce a formal partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia’s (FGS) Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources. During the Somalia Fisheries Forum, Secure Fisheries’ Director Kaija Hurlburt and the FGS Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources signed a memorandum of understanding to ensure that our work supports the goals of Somalia outlined in the National Development Plan and to provide the Ministry with Secure Fisheries’ technical expertise. 

The MOU includes a commitment to collaborating on Project Kalluun, a project between Secure Fisheries, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, and City University Mogadishu to collect fish catch data to inform sustainable fisheries management and business practices. Secure Fisheries will also support the Ministry in improving its compliance reporting to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. We look forward to strengthening this partnership to support a profitable and sustainable Somali fishing sector.

Assessing Gendered Approaches to DDR in Colombia, Coups and Rebellion 

OEF Research launched a new report entitled Reassessing Rebellion at an event hosted by the Stimson Center and featuring public and one-on-one engagement with the content by members of the DC NGO and State department community. The report assesses changing trends in civil wars and substate conflict, and concludes that civil wars are getting less urbanized, more religious, and more conventional.

A second report released by OEF Research assessed the gendered aspects of the Colombian DDR process. Based on interviews with former combatants, it concludes that the DDR process often neglected the differing and gendered needs of men and women. The Missing Peace report was also paired with a comic book for direct outreach, entitled, Peace is Ours.  

A third release, Annual Risk of Coup Report - 2019, is a forward-looking assessment of the annual risk of coup for the year. Building on the CoupCast project, which was covered by The Economist in April of this year, the coup risk report looks forward to identify likely challenges and states at highest risk of coup in 2019. This report was incorporated into a presentation on coup risk to the National Security Council in early 2019. 

Rural Alternative Schools build peace through collaboration in 14 municipalities of Colombia 

The Rural Alternative Schools (ERAs) developed by PASO Colombia continue to grow as collaboration platforms to create jobs and promote sustainable development in the rural areas most affected by organized violence. They are currently present in 14 municipalities throughout the country, working with a network of 30 partners, and supporting the productive projects of 554 persons. Together with the Collaborative Commercial Partnerships promoted within the ERAs, PASO has generated jobs for 1,333 people in this vulnerable areas.

The model has continued to evolve broadening its scope from the reincorporation of ex-combatants to strategic intervention in areas affected by the armed conflict. The model aims to catalyze governance networks based on the development of legal, sustainable and dignified economic opportunities for the communities that inhabit these areas. Responding to the challenge posed by 1.2 million Venezuelan refugees, PASO Colombia has begun implementing the ERA model on the Colombia-Venezuela border, with emphasis in the departments of Arauca, Cesar and Guajira.

During the 2019 Concordia Americas Summit, an agreement was signed with the Municipality of Saravena, department of Arauca, to launch a new ERA. The new ERA will create jobs for Venezuelan migrants, ex-combatants, and internally displaced families through the production of commercial goods while also producing food for local consumption. The ERA aims to improve the livelihoods of more than 1,000 families during its initial phase of development.  You can learn more about the ERA in Saravena here.

Using Tech to Identify Nuclear Threats 

The Datayo Project continued to deepen and broaden the offerings of its software platform this quarter with software development by Arshdeep Singh. In May, 113 beta-testers began testing out the platform. New features include collaborative discussions on maps and text articles, alerts, and a toolbar for purchasing satellite imagery from a 3rd party re-seller. Datayo also worked to increase the speed, security, and stability of the software platform. 

Datayo signed an agreement with Airbus Defence and Space in order to review and task synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data of the Terra-SAR-X and other SAR sensors. SAR data will allow OEF to visualize changes in terrain from underground nuclear explosions, and patrol traffic in dusty/arid areas. It also allows us to see activity at night, through clouds, and even through some thin materials such as fiber glass. 

Google also agreed to have one of its employees, Lloyd Rayner, devote 20% of his time to building machine learning algorithms for object detection in satellite imagery. Lloyd will use MAXAR high-resolution satellite imagery to train the algorithm to identify surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites. Once the algorithm is built, we'll deploy it to Datayo and have users test it to improve accuracy. Next, we will iterate to include other nuclear-related objects to allow users to discover and monitor multiple sites. 

Datayo retained its first training client, National Public Radio (NPR).  Melissa Hanham flew to NPR headquarters in Washington, DC and trained reporters, editors, and graphics designers on using open-source ground and satellite imagery in their reporting. Approximately 25 staff attended throughout the day-long training session. 

The Datayo Project, lead by Melissa Hanham, has been folded into OEF's new Open Nuclear Network (ONN) program, under the direction of Laura Rockwood. While Datayo continues to serve a primarily nuclear threat-focused mission under ONN, Datayo met with PASO Colombia and other OEF programs to see how its data platform can enable easier, more collaborative data visualization. Please contact Melissa Hanham for more information." 

Engaging Men and Amplifying Voices for Women, Peace and Security 

This May, in partnership with the United States Institute of Peace, Our Secure Future: Women Make the Difference co-hosted the Washington D.C. launch of Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace and Security. The event, titled “How to Advance Inclusive Peace Processes,” featured statements from David Yang, Chairman Ed Royce, and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, among others. The panel discussion, moderated by Rosarie Tucci, featured discussion with Ambassador Donald Steinberg, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Ambassador C. Steven McGann, and Dean Peacock. Visit the MMPWPS project page for more information about how you can join this initiative, and to watch the New York launch event. More than 150 people attended.

Most recently, OSF, along with partners World Pulse and Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership, released the findings of Transforming Security: Women Define Security Differently. The project features crowdsourced stories and experiences of over 400 women from 62 different countries on the topics of security, violence, representation and how women’s security priorities differ from those currently in place. The results, and the additional information published on our website, shows that the current narratives surrounding traditional security have gaping holes in terms of support and protection for those on the ground. To view the results, and share your story by taking the survey, head over to our website!

OSF is thrilled that, as mandated by the United States Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017, the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security was released this June. Moving forward, the team is looking forward to supporting its implementation, along with the support and collaboration of our fellows and partners in this space. 

Expanding Access to Finance in the Somali Region

Shuraako’s Work in Progress! (WIP!) project, a capacity building program funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands as a part of LEAD (Local Employment in Africa for Development) was extended to continue through 2023. Shuraako is working with other consortium partners to submit a concept note which will build upon lessons learned from Shuraako’s management of the WIP! project over the past four years. In its next phase of implementation, Shuraako will train additional participants with a greater focus on technical assistance and tailored business development support (BDS). The program will strengthen the capacity of participating businesses by providing tailored BDS ranging from fundamental business principles, concepts and services, to individual enterprise advisory and technical support.

Shuraako’s management of the Somalia Credit Guarantee Scheme, the first credit guarantee in Somalia and one of the only Sharia-compliant guarantees in the world, continues to expand access to finance in the region. Working in partnership with our project sponsor, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Shuraako has approved 25 loans to be guaranteed totaling $994,397 at a rate of 4 packages per month. The loans have been regionally distributed and the current portfolio is 31% female-owned and 46% youth-owned.