‘Pirates Attack 84 Ships, Abduct 135 Seafarers For Ransom In Gulf Of Guinea In 2020’

LAGOS JUNE 14TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Report has emerged that no fewer that eighty four ships were attacked and one hundred and thirty seafarers abduct  by sea pirates in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020.

According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were nearly 50 percent increase in kidnapping for ransom between 2018 and 2019, and around 10 percent increase between 2019 and 2020. The region now accounts for just over 95 percent of all kidnappings for ransom at sea. The Covid-19 pandemic brought about increased economic hardship resulting in emboldened reliance on illicit, yet lucrative, activities.

The report was made available to NewsRangers by the organizers of 2nd International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference. The event  will take place from6-8 July, 2020 at Kempinski Hotel in Accra, Ghana. It which will be addressed by the 15 Chiefs of Navies and Air Forces along with 300 senior officials. International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEC) is the largest maritime security exhibition and conference in West Africa. Held in partnership with Ghana Navy and Ghana Air Force, the IMDEC will be graced by the participation of key government leaders including H.E. Vice President of Ghana Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

According to the report, “the Gulf of Guinea is a vast and diverse region stretching from Senegal to Angola, covering 6,000 kilometres of coastline. It is an important shipping zone transporting oil and gas, as well as goods to and from central and southern Africa. Around 1,500 fishing vessels, tankers, and cargo ships navigate its waters at any given day. Piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping of seafarers, illegal fishing, smuggling and trafficking, and transnational organised crime pose a major threat to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and ultimately to the economic development of the entire region.”

 A 2020 report published by Africa Risk Compliance, issued about piracy attacks, revealed that a total of 147 vessels were attacked in 2020. The report stated some other alarming figures, noting 149 members of the crew were kidnapped with 27 kidnapped for ransom.

 The reported disclosed that In response, regional Armed Forces are acquiring resources and combining capabilities to effectively address these threats at the 2nd IMDEC, taking place in Ghana, adding that  the three-day conference and exhibition including exclusive site visit will see senior officials discuss and address how to continue tackling the issues of securing the increasingly volatile maritime threats facing Africa’s territorial waters.

 Commenting on organising IMDEC, the newly appointed Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu, Chief of Naval Staff, Ghana Navy, said, “It is troubling to know that 95 percent of all kidnappings at sea in 2020 occurred in the Gulf of Guinea. Regrettably, the actual and attempted attacks in the region also increased by 34 percent from the 2019 figure of 59 – 79 in the year 2020 despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all of us.”

 Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu continued “These statistics call for urgent and concerted efforts to deal with this menace and that is why I Rear Admiral Issah Adam Yakub, Chief of the Naval Staff of Ghana is inviting my colleague chiefs of Navy chiefs of Navies and coastguards, other law enforcement agencies, experts, industry and all other stakeholders in the maritime domain to meet in Accra from the 6 – 8 July, 2021, to develop under the theme maritime security and trade the nexus between a secure maritime domain in a developed blue economy.

 “I am hopeful that by the end of this conference we can collectively find innovative ways to curb the rise of criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea for the benefit of our nations and the people who trade and derive their livelihoods from the sea. Great Minds Event Management and my team hear in Ghana will ensure strict adherence to all Covid protocols to ensure the safety of all.”

The 2nd edition of IMDEC will also welcome greater participation from regional Air Forces, as the Ghana Air Force will be an official event partner to highlight the significance of air-maritime cooperation.

 Organised by Great Minds Event Management, a global strategic events management organisation that closely works with governments, IMDEC will address key defence and maritime security issues, showcase new technology for the defence sector where multi-million dollars’ worth of deals would be negotiated. Participating companies will be demonstrating their best products and services that could equip the naval and air forces and enhance their defence capabilities at sea. A snapshot of some of the companies confirmed to participate include Paramount, Israel Shipyards Ltd, Israel Aerospace Industries, MBDA and Airbus and will all be showcasing their latest technologies and services throughout the two-day exhibition.

 Commenting on their participation in this edition, AVM Frank Hanson, Chief of The Air Staff, Ghana, said, “For several years the maritime space remains one of the most vital components of our national security and with a coastline of 550 kilometres and an exclusive economic zone of 200 miles, Ghana’s maritime space accounts for more than 80 percent of Ghana’s GDP and that impacts positively on our neighbours in the region. The proximity of the Gulf of Guinea to Europe and North America for the transportation of low oil further raises its importance in the global supply of energy.

 “As you’re aware, more than 5.4 million barrels of crude oil is produced from the Gulf of Guinea each year. In recent years it has also become very clear that the force behind maritime security is air power, certainly it is air power that is very smart, flexible and responsible to provide reach for surface forces to dominate the maritime domain.”

 AVM Frank Hanson continues “It is therefore not surprising that the key highlights of IMDEC 2021 will feature, for the first time, the role of air power in maritime operations. The strategic objectives of the Ghana Air Force are to redefine the national maritime capability as an economic multiplier to national and sub regional development. This capability is to connect the maritime domain to strategic economic centers of our sub region. I therefore wish to encourage our neighbors to take advantage of IMDEC 2021.

 “The Ghana Air Force works very closely with the Ghana Navy and other international partners to develop an integrated maritime and air operations to cover our territorial waters,” he concluded. 

 The latest Chiefs of Naval Staff and VIPs to confirm their attendance as guests and speakers at IMDEC include Rear Admiral Nguessan Kouame, Chief of Naval Staff, Cote d’Ivoire Navy, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff, Nigeria Navy, Rear Admiral Oumar Wade, Chief of Naval Staff, Senegalese Navy, Rear Admiral Jean Mendoua, Chief of Naval Staff, Cameroon Navy. Rear Admiral Carlos Alfredo Mandungal Chief of Naval Staff, Guinea Bissau Navy, , Rear Admiral Jeffrey S. Spivey, Vice Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, Royal Navy, Rear Admiral Ben Reynolds, Director of Maritime Headquarters U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet, Captain Pedro Santana, Commander of the Coast Guard, Cape Verde, Captain Philip Juana, Commander, Sierra Leone Navy and Dr. Dieng Abdourahmane (Rtd.Col.), Head Regional Security Division, ECOWAS Commission.

Proudly MAJAN

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Posted by on Jun 14 2021. Filed under Business, International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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