Togo: Maritime crime is a threat to the global economy

‘The nations which have sea legs can not afford to have seasickness.’ The metaphor of Bert Koenders sounds like a warning. The fight against piracy must be an international priority even if it is currently focused in the Gulf of Guinea region.

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs participated Saturday at the UN in New York to a parallel event organized by Togo and the Netherlands on the subject of maritime safety to months of holding in Lomé of an international conference on this theme. Besides Faure Gnassingbe who chaired the meeting, there was the participation of the presidents of Senegal and Benin, Benin Prime Minister, the Foreign Ministers of Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon, the Vice-President of the Commission of the Union African, representatives of France, the United States and the European Union and the Director of the American NGO ‘Oceans Beyond Piracy’, John Huggins. Scourge curbed off Somalia, piracy has moved in the Gulf of Guinea, traffickers have changed their region, but the threat is the same, said the Togolese President.

This criminal activity is lost each year to a minimum of $ 7 billion to the Gulf of Guinea,  he said. He added that from 35 to 40 tons of drugs per year – mostly cocaine. – were transported by traffickers to the African coast before being sent back by sea to Europe To this should be added the arms trafficking that fuels terrorism on the continent. ‘92% of world traffic is carried by sea, it is inconceivable that insecurity persists in Africa or elsewhere, ‘insisted the Togolese head of state.’ The sea is of vital importance for international trade.

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