Following a recent uptick in kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea that put seafarers and fishers at great risk, Stable Seas commissioned a range of stakeholders, led by the Senior Advisor Jon Huggins, to discuss near-term actions that could provide relief from violent attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.

The study identified cross-sector agreement on the threat level as a necessary precondition for success, in addition to reaching a common understanding of regional interpretations of maritime boundaries and their effect on international cooperation, private security schemes, and prosecution of detainees and a move from multilateral to multi-stakeholder cooperation.

Specific Recommendations from the report include:

  • Better incorporation of contracted state security in the Gulf of Guinea - including embarked uniformed security guards and the 150+ contracted security escort vessels manned by the Nigerian Navy.
  • Establishment of standard protocols for information-sharing between international, regional, and national centers.
  • Increased focus on operational coordination that can ensure regional strategies are implemented in the timeline of 6 months to 1  year.
  • Establishment of a loose framework for cooperation supported by international partners, including pre-designated patrol zones and/or transit lanes coordinated with regional agencies.

It is important to note that some near-term efforts are already underway, including an initiative to better coordinate the shipping industry and Nigerian government security measures through the Nigerian government and Industry Joint Working Group (NIWG).

... Stable Seas noted.

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