News / Africa

West African Leaders Pledge to Fight Sea Piracy

(L-R) Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and Idriss Deby Itno of Chad attend the opening in Yaounde of a meeting on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, June 24, 2013.
(L-R) Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and Idriss Deby Itno of Chad attend the opening in Yaounde of a meeting on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, June 24, 2013.
More than two dozen leaders from West and Central Africa have wrapped up a two-day summit in Cameroon resolving to combat the scourge of piracy in their region.

Leaders at this special summit say that oil theft, sea piracy, pipeline vandalism, illegal drug and arms trafficking cost West and Central Africa more than $1.2 billion a year.  
 
But piracy topped the agenda at the summit in Cameroon's capital this week. Pirates have attacked dozens of ships in the Gulf of Guinea this year, including at least 22 in Nigeria alone.

Cameroon President Paul Biya said he and his regional counterparts believe they must now fight piracy energetically to salvage their economies.
 
He said, "We cannot abandon our maritime space to lawless individuals and groups who act as predators. We shall not allow those pirates to operate on our waters."
 
Earlier this month, the International Maritime Bureau confirmed that while piracy attacks declined significantly in 2012, their success rate was up - indicating more sophisticated tactics.
 
And it said the Gulf of Guinea is now more dangerous for shipping than the waters than off the coast of Somalia.

Countries on or near the Gulf provide about 40 percent of Europe's oil needs and nearly 30 percent of the fuel used in the United States.
 
Some of it is from landlocked countries like Chad. The president of Chad, Idriss Deby, said he could not be indifferent to the piracy threat because his country’s economy has also been touched.

He said, "Security in the Gulf of Guinea does not concern only coastal countries but landlocked countries like Chad - whose imports and exports depend largely on the Gulf of Guinea.  He called on regional countries to create a standby force."

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara went further, calling for international action to battle a global security threat.
 
He asked the international community to be firm in the Gulf of Guinea as they have been firm in the Gulf of Aden - where the presence of international naval forces has led to a drastic reduction in maritime piracy.

The 25 heads of state and government leaders ended the Yaounde summit by signing agreements to contribute forces and the necessary human and financial resources that will help fight piracy. They also prepared what they called a “code of conduct” - outlining what each country has to contribute within three years.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Volker Niebergall from: Germany
June 26, 2013 3:14 AM
Dear West African Leaders:
There is a way to be firm and combine forces and the necessary human and financial resources that will help fight piracy.

by: FeedbackAfrica from: Princeton, New Jersey
June 25, 2013 10:44 PM
In three years we shall know who walked the talk and rhetoric on how to secure the gulf of Guinea. As for the leaders who showed up at the summit, time will tell how well they can lead on this issue.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs