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Friday, 08 February 2013

Rise of Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

The piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has increased dramatically with 42% in 2012, as compared to the previous year, reaching 51 attacks, according to the last numbers released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
This is in contrast with the trend in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, where in 2012 only 35 ships were attacked, compared to 163 in 2009. This is largely due to the presence of international naval patrols, out of which , nine are part of the EU-NATO 'Atalanta' mission.
However, experts advise against similar interventions in the Gulf of Guinea, where, compared, to the case of Gulf of Aden- where we are dealing with a failed state (Somalia)- the coast states are sovereign, and would the governments not accept such intrusion, Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said.  
The main reasons for the rise in piracy levels are political instability and social unrest. Young people, who see no possibilities for their future turn in many cases to piracy. Piracy started here approximately 10 years ago, limited to fishing boats or local good transporters. However, the increase in oil exports brought about a larger and more violent piracy- the attacks on oil tankers.
The Gulf of Guinea has huge resources of oil, as the coast countries produce  around 500 million liters of old daily, out of which 40% is exported to Europe. Even if European countries have a great interest in keeping their its tanks out of the hands of pirates, experts advise against interventions in the Gulf of Guinea. Here, compared, to the case of Gulf of Aden- where we are dealing with a failed state (Somalia)- the coast states are sovereign, and would the governments not accept such intrusion, Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said. Instead, he recommends that the international organizations provide supports to the coast countries themselves to build their own strategy for fighting piracy, and even more, to help them develop economic reforms which can decrease unemployment and offer another future for young people, besides piracy.


Source: Deutsche Welle