Monday, December 6, 2021

Tag: Gulf of Guinea

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West Africa regional force mooted to fight pirates

West African countries are discussing the creation of a regional force West African countries are discussing the creation of a regional force to tackle growing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, a senior Nigerian government official said on Wednesday.Piracy is a growing threat to shipping in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea - a major source of oil, metals and agricultural products to world markets - with a spate of attacks off Benin this year marking an expansion in the area pirates operate.Oyewole Olugbenga Leke, senior special assistant to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on maritime services, said West African countries were looking at a regional initiative to combat the growing threat."What they are trying to do is coastal states will provide from their military forces men and platforms to man the Gulf of Guinea," he told Reuters."Talks and discussions are on," he said on the sidelines of a Hanson Wade West African piracy conference in London.Oyewole said under plans being discussed, any arrangement would work "without jeopardising the territorial integrity of any nation.""We are hoping it is going to come out to be a real force in the sub region to combat piracy," he said."It is being handled in Nigeria at ...

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Pirate attacks surge in Gulf of Guinea

Nigerian navy officers undergo military exercises to help boost security in the area Piracy attacks are escalating in the Gulf of Guinea, endangering the future of one of the world's emerging shipping hubs and highlighting the weak state of maritime security in West Africa.The Gulf of Guinea stretches along a dozen West and Central African countries, including Nigeria and Angola, the continent's top oil producers.Though waters off the coast of Somalia remain the uncontested epicenter of global piracy, the Gulf of Guinea has reported an alarming spike in attacks this year, particularly off the coast of Benin.Raymond Gilpin, the director of the Center for Sustainable Economies at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said, "It's clear that the gang or gangs involved in this know exactly what they are looking for - oil tankers that are either anchored or moored in some form. The intent is to take over the vessel, direct it to a safe location and offload its cargo."Armed robbery at sea is not new to the Gulf of Guinea, nor is the illegal sale of oil stolen from its waters in West African and European ports. Over the past six months, however, analysts say the attacks have become ...

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From East to West: Piracy in Africa

Gulf of Guinea has become a popular target for pirates At the beginning of the month, Lloyd's of London, the world's leading marine insurance market, designated Nigeria and Benin as "war-risk" zones due to an escalation of piracy. While the vast of majority of the world's pirate attacks take place off the Horn of Africa and more specifically in the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Guinea has become a popular target for pirates looking to make a quick buck.The Gulf of Guinea is a major trade hub, and neighboring countries are increasingly sources of oil, metals, cotton and cocoa. Nigeria and Benin are the most affected, with 22 attacks since the beginning of the year, but other countries such as Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea have also suffered attacks. Nigeria, as Africa's largest source of oil production, is particularly dependent on secure waters for export. As piracy in the region increases, ships are forced to reroute. Trade flows are disrupted, and the added cost is shifted to consumers.Nearly 80 percent of global commerce is transported by sea, as it is the most efficient and cost-effective manner of cargo travel. The threat of piracy places an undue burden on the global ...

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Gulf of Guinea pirates trigger alarm

Pirate attacks are increasing in this region which becomes oil-producing zone and trading hub Pirate attacks off the coast of West Africa are increasingly sharply in a region that is becoming a major oil-producing zone and trading hub.Security and shipping analysts say the number of attacks is underreported and that, left unchecked, the emerging crisis could soon rival the Somali piracy scourge off East Africa that now extends deep into the Indian Ocean.Nigeria, the main oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, and Benin, its tiny eastern neighbor, have reported 27 attacks this year.Piracy in these waters and the Gulf of Guinea, which runs along the Atlantic coasts of a dozen countries from Guinea to Angola, has gone from low-level robberies at sea to hijackings, cargo seizures and major holdups over the last eight months.So far, there have been no hijackings for ransom, the primary tactic used by the Somali pirates.But London's maritime insurance market has added Benin to its list of high-risk zones for shipping, on a par with the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on the other side of the continent.Benin is the maritime access point for land-locked states such as Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso and its economy depends ...

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The Gulf of Guinea is Piracys Emerging Market

Since May this year, there have been increasing reports of pirate attacks in GoG Despite the best efforts of the world's navies and EU NAVFOR in particular, piracy inthe Indian Ocean/Gulf of Aden and Red Sea areas shows no sign of abating. Quite thecontrary, according to a report released by the International Maritime Bureau's PiracyReporting Centre in July this year. Of the incidents reported, over sixty per cent wereconducted by pirate gangs operating off the coast of Somalia and Arabian Sea. Indeed,the attacks were becoming more violent and pirates were taking much greater risks, theIMB stated.The success of Somali pirates has not gone unnoticed by criminals in other parts of theAfrican continent.Since May this year, there have been increasing reports of pirateattacks in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and off the coast of West Africa. The incidentsprompted the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre to issue a specificwarning in June, citing eight attacks off Cotonou, Benin. Since then, the number ofattacks has increased significantly, although it's virtually impossible to accurately gaugethe amount of pirate activity due to insufficient reporting from the region. One securityanalyst told Reuters that, "In Nigeria it is estimated that approximately 60 percent ofpirate attacks go unreported"*.The ...

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Pirates attack two oil tankers off West Africa

Crew was able to hide after the pirates boarded and fired their weapons Pirates attacked two Panamanian-flagged ships carrying oil off the coast of Benin on Wednesday but were driven off by the Benin navy before they could steal the cargo, authorities said.The incident was the latest in a string of attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea that experts say is threatening an emerging trade hub and a growing source of oil, metals and cocoa to world markets."The ships Golden Sifia and Aidin Panama alerted Benin's naval security forces of an armed attack," Navy Commander Maxime Ahoyo said."When we arrived on the scene we succeeded in chasing off 10 pirates, all Nigerians, who managed to break in but hurt no one."He said the 54 crew aboard the two ships, who were in the process of transferring oil ship-to-ship, were able to hide after the pirates boarded and fired their weapons.Some 26 pirate attacks have been recorded off Benin -- which neighbours oil-rich Nigeria -- since the start of the year, including an attack on an Italian diesel tanker last week.Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is rising but is not on the scale seen off Somalia, where armed ...

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Piracy in West Africa surge points to organised gang

A gang involved in the lucrative black market for stolen fuel appears to be the main culprit A surge in pirate attacks off West Africa has led to mounting concern in the shipping industry, and analysts say a gang involved in the lucrative black market for stolen fuel appears to be the main culprit.The increase in attacks in recent months has been concentrated along the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of the small nation of Benin, which neighbours Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer and where piracy has long been a problem.Unlike the explosion of piracy off the coast of Somalia on the opposite end of the continent in recent years, those involved in the recent West African attacks have so far not appeared to be after ransom payments.Two independent analysts said a relatively organised gang from Nigeria seems to be the prime suspect in the attacks, which have included pirates hijacking tankers and ordering them elsewhere to offload fuel to be sold on the black market.Other types of attacks have occurred as well off Benin, such as armed robberies where criminals board ships and make off with whatever they can.Fifteen piracy incidents off Benin have been reported so far ...

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Pirates eye share of Gulf of Guinea riches

Pirates have taken opportunities with weak local maritime security structures Pirate attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea are threatening one of the world's emerging trade hubs and are likely to intensify unless the region's weak naval and coastguard defences are beefed up soon.Stretching from Guinea on Africa's northwestern tip down to Angola in the south, the Gulf spans a dozen countries and is a growing source of oil, cocoa and metals to the world's markets.While piracy has yet to hit levels seen off Somalia's coast, analysts say pirates have spotted a window of opportunity with weak local maritime security structures and a craggy coastline which offers natural hideouts from which to mount attacks."Piracy in West Africa is fundamentally different to Somali piracy as the perpetrators are interested in stealing cargoes rather than demanding ransoms," said Paul Gibbins of maritime security company Protection Vessels International (PVI)."It is reasonable to assume that the problem is likely to escalate if there are no resources to help police and control the situation," he added.Despite NATO and European Union operations to protect local shipping, there were 163 attempted or actual attacks by Somali pirates in the first half of this year, according to ...

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Piracy on the Rise in West Africa

A crime that costs the global economy 12 billion dollars a year Special Forces have made a major dent in piracy off the coast of Somalia. But after 2 tankers are attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, analysts fear the pirates may be moving to new hunting grounds in West Africa.By sea and air, the world's finest military forces are hunting for pirates off the lawless Horn of Africa.This is a crime that costs the global economy 12 billion dollars a year.And now it looks like commanders may be getting results.The British navy says warships have stopped every hijacking attempt in the Gulf of Aden for almost a year.But according to Tracy Peverett from the International Maritime Organisation, this could be just a lull-during the monsoon storms.

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