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

You May Like

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

Report: US to Sail Warships Near Disputed S. China Sea Islands

Move will signal nonrecognition of Chinese territorial claims over area, Financial Times reports, citing senior US official More

Study Describes Ancient Deltas, Lakes on Mars

Research builds on recent NASA announcement that water flows on red planet today More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs