News / Africa

    African Leaders Meet to Address Maritime Insecurity

    Peter Clottey
    Heads of state and government in West and Central African regions plan to meet Monday and Tuesday for an extraordinary summit in the Cameroonian capital, Yaoundé.

    Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the president of the Economic Community of West African States says the objective of the conference is to enable the leaders to come up with strategies to resolve increasing maritime insecurity along the coast of the two regions.

    “The objective is to agree on a common strategy to combat this maritime insecurity,” continued Ouedraogo, “I believe that this will enable us coordinate our action in order to be more efficient in combating this maritime piracy.”

    The conference is organized by ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African State, and the Commission of the Gulf of Guinea.

    “There would be a code of conduct for all countries involved in this summit, and there would also be a cooperation agreement between ECOWAS, ECCAS and [the] Commission of the gulf of Guinea, for us to coordinate our action,” said Ouedraogo.

    A recent report shows a sharp rise in piracy off the Gulf of Guinea.  Data from the International Maritime Bureau, says about 1,000 seafarers and fishermen were attacked by pirates armed with guns or knives in the Gulf of Guinea last year.

    After expressing concern about the piracy problem in the regions, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution that appealed to leaders in both ECOWAS and ECCAS to consider a solution to combat the growing maritime insecurity.

    Ouedraogo says both regional blocs are committed to ending the maritime menace after reports cited more than 30 piracy attacks off the western part of the Gulf of Guinea since the beginning of this year.

    “This is becoming a major threat to peace and security in our region, and I believe that as soon as the summit is concluded, I’m sure that the political declaration and the cooperation agreement that would be signed will immediately enter into force, and then we will start consulting among ourselves to combat this phenomenon,” said Ouedraogo.

    Some observers have expressed skepticism about the implementation of the agreement as well as recommendations by the leaders to combat the piracy menace.  Ouedraogo disagreed.

    “I believe that this time things are different because most of the countries are already implementing actions plans to combat this phenomenon,” continued Ouedraogo, “the idea will be to coordinate these various activities in order to allow them to be more efficient.  This summit will allow us to enhance the national and regional strategies already existing in order to give more impetus to our effort to combat this piracy.”

    Analysts say the growing piracy problem could discourage investment.  But, Ouedraogo said the regional blocs and international partners have demonstrated commitment to end the piracy menace.

    “I can assure businesses that this battle is not only for ECCAS and ECOWAS, all our partners are involved in this commitment.  We are going to act jointly with all our partners, the European Community, our strategic partners like the USA, UK and France and other Western countries will be mobilized to succeed in this battle against insecurity,” said Ouedraogo.
    Clottey interview with Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, ECOWAS
    Clottey interview with Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, ECOWASi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora