West and Central African leaders on Monday started a two-day summit in Yaoundé, Cameroon, on maritime security and combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.Getting together is a start to defeating the pirates.
The heads of state and government will deliberate on new proposals and a joint action plan to tackle piracy and maritime criminality in the region.
At the close of the summit, it is expected that the member countries will be provided with “appropriate means” to combat the phenomenon, sources said.
An estimated 996 pirate attacks have been recorded since 2012 on ocean-going fuel cargo vessels in the region and products transferred to pirate ships, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
The source said oil products from pirated ships are sold on the lucrative black market. The pirates are not primarily focused on seeking ransoms to release ships.
The IMB statement said that West Africa has overtaken Somalia in the reported number of both ships and seafarers attacked.
|GOG 2012 Attacks reported to the IMB|
G. (U)WEST AFRICA
1. (U) GUINEA: On 19 June, an anchored general cargo ship was boarded at 09:14 N 013:57 W, approximately 25nm southwest of Conakry. Five pirates, armed with machine guns, boarded a general cargo ship at anchor. They threatened the crew, stole ship's cash, crew personal belongings,then escaped. All crew were reported safe. (IMB)
2. (U) TOGO: On 13 June, the anchored French-flagged chemical tanker ADOUR was hijacked at 05:41 N- 001:18 E, approximately 25 nm south of Lome. An unknown number of pirates boarded and hijacked the ship. 14 of the 15 crew members were released, one crew member was taken hostage, to ensure the pirates safe passage back to Nigeria and to potentially ransom for money. On 17 June, the vessel was released and the captive crew member was rescued unharmed, by local authorities. (TW, LSS, VesselTracker.com)
3. (U) NIGERIA: On 13 June, the Singapore-flagged underway offshore supply vessel MDPL CONTINENTAL ONE was boarded and personnel kidnapped at 04:02 N-008:02 E, approximately 7 nm southwest of the OFON Oil Field. Two fiberglass speed-boats, each with 2 outboards engines, each carrying 14 gunmen in wearing casual t-shirts and no masks, launched an attack. The pirates were armed with AK47’s. After stealing personal items and belongings, four expat crew were kidnapped (Polish (Chief Engineer) and three Indians (Captain, Chief Officer, and Bosun). (TW, OCL, SAA, Fleetmon.com, AP)
4. (U) NIGERIA: On 04 June, the Saint Vincent and Grenadines-flagged underway tug-offshore supply ship BOURBON ARETHUSE was boarded at 04:14 N-007:45 E, at the Usari Field. Pirates boarded the ship while on standby duties. Seeing the pirates, the crew raised the alarm, retreated into the citadel, alerted other vessels, and the shore based office by VHF and waited until the pirates had left. On investigation it was found that ships and crew belongings werestolen. All crew safe. (IMB, IMO, OCL, SAA)
5. (U) NIGERIA: On 04 June, the Vanuatu-flagged underway offshore supply ship C VIKING was attacked in the vicinity of 04:14 N- 007:45 E, at the Usari Field. No further reporting at thistime. (TW, SAA, AP)
6. (U) NIGERIA: On 03 June, the Marshall Islands-flagged underway chemical tanker BLUEGREEN TIGRE was fired upon at 04:42 N–008:1 9 E approximately 2.5 nm north of James Town, in the Calabar River. Ten armed robbers in two speed boats approached and fired upon the chemical tanker underway with pilot on board. Master raised alarm, mustered all crew, and reported the incident to the Nigerian Authorities. The armed robbers aborted the attack and moved away when the Nigerian Marine Police arrived on the scene. All crew are safe, but the ship sustained minor damage due to the firing. (IMB, IMO, OCL)
7. (U) NIGERIA: On 03 June, the Singapore-flagged chemical tanker RHINO was fired upon at 06:16 N–003:20 E, at the Lagos Anchorage. While at anchor, an unknown number of robbers attempted to board the vessel through the hawse pipe, via chain locker, and exchanged gunshots with the Nigerian naval personnel onboard. The general alarm was activated and the crew mustered at the designated muster station. The robbers' boat eventually left after 20 minutes. There was no injury to the crew or items stolen. (IMO , OCL)
8. (U) NIGERIA: On 24 May, the Nigeria-flagged underway chemical tanker MATRIX I was boarded and personnel kidnapped approximately 40 nm off the coast of Bayelsa state. Around seven to eight pirates armed with guns, in a boat, fired at and boarded the tanker underway. They stole ship’s and crew's belongings, kidnapped five crew members and escaped. The kidnapped crew was released safely on 07 June. (OCL, LL, Reuters, AP, IMO, IMB)