Intensification of anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Guinea

Closer international co-operation is required to fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana’s Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Geofrey Biekro, told participants at the conference on “Maritime Security in Africa,” which was held in Lagos (Nigeria) between 27-29 August.

“Criminal gangs are taking advantage of our failure to collaborate at the operational and tactical levels,” he said. “They commit offence in the territorial waters of one country and then move.

The head of the European military working group for West Africa, German Rear Admiral Jurgen Ehle, declared  that  the EU plans to step up its anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Guinea. 
The EU is¬†currently drafting a policy¬†(named “EU security strategy for the global maritime domain”) which will focus on training and the coordination of regional armies.

The strategy‚Äôs first step would be to generate “real-time situational awareness of all activities at sea”. By interlinking civilian and military communities, it would result in better cross-border information sharing, which in turn would facilitate decision-making and improve maritime governance.
The policy is expected to be finished in October. However, Ehle added that the EU is unlikely to deploy ships in the region.

Several of the largest oil companies are located in the region and most of the piracy in the Gulf of Guinea targets oil-tankers and their oil, sold on the black market.

Deutsche Welle reported that the piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has increased with 42% in 2012, as compared to the previous year.


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