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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More