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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gulf of Guinea Piracy: Nigeria "Pirates kill policeman in Bayelsa"

Daily Post of Nigeria reports, "Pirates kill policeman in Bayelsa":
The Police Command in Bayelsa has confirmed that pirates killed a Mobile Policeman on waterways in Ikebiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
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He said the dead policeman was escorting a barge to Koluama with his colleague when the pirates attacked them.

“Two policemen who were on escort duty on a barge from Port Harcourt to Koluama community in Bayelsa were attacked over the weekend by suspected pirates.

“One was shot dead while the other was badly injured. The policemen involved are not from Bayelsa command.
Reuters reports, "Pirate attacks by heavily armed gangs surge off Nigerian coast":
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Unlike the dangerous waters off Somalia and the Horn of Africa on the east coast of Africa, through which ships now speed with armed guards on board, many vessels have to anchor to do business off West African countries, with little protection.

This makes them a soft target for criminals and jacks up insurance costs.

"Pirates, often heavily armed and violent, are targeting vessels and their crews along the (Nigerian) coast, rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters. In many cases, they ransack the vessels and steal the cargo, usually gas oil," the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported on Thursday.

Countries on the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast, are major sources of oil and cocoa and increasingly metals for world markets.
Nigeria is getting assistance as reported in "Nigeria, UK, US in Joint Exercise Against Piracy, Crude Oil Theft":
A joint multi-national sea exercise tagged "African Winds" aimed at showing readiness to flush out sea pirates, terrorists and crude oil thieves in the Nigerian waters was held at the Lagos Takwa Bay Beach Friday.
The exercise which was jointly carried out by Spain, UK, US, Netherlands and Nigeria, was in line with the objectives of the African Partnership Station (APS) to stamp out maritime illegalities.
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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, while speaking to journalists at the event admitted that the Nigerian Armed Forces approached the war against insurgents on a wrong footing.

Though, he said some achievements had been recorded by the military in the war against insurgents, he added that the Nigerian Armed Forces is re-strategising with a view to tackling all security loopholes in the on-going war against terrorism, piracy, sea robbery and bunkering.
He said: "We went into the operation in the North East without joint deployment training. Nevertheless, I am impressed with level of cooperation so far.

"We have taken concrete measures to improve the level of effectiveness of the operation, such as ground-to-air communication to enable the Nigerian Army and Air force to communicate. This was not there before hand.

"Though, there has been limited success with the operation in the north east, but I hope there will be improvement soon."
Sooner, please.

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