A French navy vessel on tour of the Gulf of Guinea has declared Liberia’s Sea Coast safe for sailors. Latouche Trivelle is a F70 anti-submarine destruction vessel owned by the French Government. It is also one of the experts’ ships working to beef up security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The vessel docked at the Free Port of Monrovia on Monday, April 15, 2013 as part of its four-month tour of the Gulf of Guinea.
In an interview with this paper recently at the Free Port of Monrovia, Captain Xavier De Vericourt, described Liberia’s Sea Coast as one the most secured sea routes on the West African Coast.
He said Liberia has not experienced the high jacking of ships by pirates in other countries along the Gulf of Guinea, including Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon. According to the International Maritime Bureau, an estimated 40 percent of Europe’s oil imports and 29 percent of U.S.-bound petroleum products pass through the Gulf of Guinea annually.
The International Maritime Bureau furthered that fifty-eight pirate attacks were recorded in the Gulf last year, including 10 hijackings; nearly half of the attacks occurred off the coast of Nigeria, with others occurring off Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Benin and nearby countries.
He lauded the Government of Liberia(GOL) for the reactivating the Liberia Coast Guards Unit of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), adding this will further strengthen security on the country’s sea coast. He disclosed that the French Government has planned to work with the GOL to establish a network with the French navy.
Meanwhile, 25 officers of the Liberian Coast Guard of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) on Saturday, April 20, 2013 completed a week-long intensive naval training provided by the ship at the Free Port of Monrovia. The week-long intensive naval training was conducted by the French navy vessel from Monday, April 15-20, at the Free Port of Monrovia.
According to Captain Vericourt, the 25 officers of the Coast Guard Unit of the AFL were trained how to operate navy weapons, high sea diving, anti-submarine search and sea patrol amongst other.