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Africa News of Thursday, 5 March 2020


US and Gabon unite against pirates

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The US and Gabon have agreed to head up an international group which fights against piracy in the sea off the west coast of Africa.

The US released a statement saying the two countries have assumed the co-secretariat of the Friends of Gulf of Guinea, also known as the FoGG, for 2020.

The group includes Germany, Canada, the US, Italy, Japan, the UK, France, Belgium, Brazil, South Korea, Denmark, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, the EU, UN's drugs and crimes agency and Interpol. It focuses on maritime crime.

The Gulf of Guinea is the most dangerous sea in the world for shipping, according to One Earth Future's annual State of Maritime Piracy report.

Most of the attacks have been against ships involved in oil and gas transportation, such as tankers, bulk carriers and tugs.

Typically pirates have targeted tankers from Nigeria's rich oil and gas fields.

Piracy in the form of hijacking and kidnapping for ransom payments was also common off the coasts of Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Congo-Brazzaville and Cameroon.

Rich pickings at sea, political instability, the lack of law enforcement and poverty on land are all factors which have contributed to the increase in piracy.

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