Combating piracy on the coast of West Africa

“Piracy”, is a term we normally connect with fictional characters or the past. We compile a picture of treasure chests, and wooden boats that does not reflect an accurate characterization of our current reality. Piracy quits to be something of the past, it seems the antithesis has occurred; piracy has developed into such modernity that it challenges the international community throughout the world. Nonetheless it appears that amounts might be underestimates with actual amounts. In comparison to previous attacks on the East Coast, attackers plan to steal cash and cargoes of fuels from ships which are coming in in some instances crews are kidnapped, to the countries to port. As these pirates have often times no motivator to make sure the safety of the crews with a fast hit, violence often escalates. Yet stretching over 5000 kilometers the Gulf of Guinea poses a complicated geographic surroundings making the protection of the region hard. The international community must work collectively to ensure the safety of the region which poses a risk on the security and economic interests of the place.



Definition of Key Terms



Bunkering: The term Nigerians use for the theft of oil.



Tanker Hijacking: This is the practice of taking over vessels carrying oil. During this process, the pirates drain the oil present on the ships and resell it on the black market, long after having escaped.



Piracy: The practice of attack and robbing ships at sea. This is condemned by the international community for obvious reasons, and is heavily combated as such.



Gulf of Guinea: The Gulf of Guinea is located in the northeastern most part of the tropical Atlantic, located on the Western coast of Africa, the countries Ivory Coast, Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone and Angola, among others share their coasts with it. Incidentally it is precisely here where our current issue lies.




General Overview


Piracy is not an unknown concept within the African continent. The Somali pirates led a conflict the international community struggled to fight in the East Coast of Africa after UN intervention, until late 2011. Yet piracy in West Africa challenges international and local governments and is fairly different. There are multiple facets to the issue some are politically inclined, some link back to the core objective of the piracy in some aspects this being petroleum, while others to the strategies, alongside strikes that are notable. It’s important to understand the long lasting effects of piracy in West Africa. Firstly the robbery of possessions possessed by second cargo theft, crew members and lastly the kidnapping of crews. This undoubtedly is certainly one of the facets that aids in the intricacy of this issue, this really is quite distinct in contrast to East African piracy who pirates primarily utilized the techniques of the kidnapping of crews once they had seized their ship that is intended. The robbing of properties is fairly easily described, it's really the classic intention of pirates, in which their intention would be to seize anything to radios discovered aboard the ship, from money. Freight theft on the other hand is the primary technique which must be highlighted in West African Piracy. The hijacking of an oil tanker generally achieves this, then lastly after ensuring it's in a non-visible place, that they can siphon off the oil bringing another boat. Lastly kidnap for ransom is a technique as the freight is generally the purpose of not the crews and the pirates, not frequently seen. Nevertheless this lack of purposes signifies that piracy is violent in contrast to what it was like in East Africa, and are at often described as deadly and brutal. For example if the crew attempts to show armed opposition, pirates will at regularly time respond alongside military tactics with machine guns. In non-visible places where the freight is removed by them into smaller boats they are anchored at the times that the ships are however seized. Pirate groups are learned on which ships to attack as can be attested from their assaults. Along with that they're composed of members who can assist with the logistic areas of them capturing ships.





The effect of Piracy in West Africa are severe. Not only to the impact on the economy of many of the surrounding states, with regards to other cargoes being sent and the oil industry. They also create another obstacle which restricts their trading and trades with multinationals or other countries that felt threatened by piracy. Another place is that the fishing industry has had trouble continuing to manage, with a loss of over 100,000 occupations with cases like Nigeria were now they such as, over 80% of its fish.







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Niklas Soltner