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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Nigeria: How Not to Fight Local Pirates and Sea Kidnappers

When local armed criminals take advantage of rules prohibiting their targets from also being armed, you get reports like this Shipping lines at crossroads over private armed guards
As the world’s navies could not control vast area in the high seas to secure all ships
sailing to various ports, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in 2011 approved an interim guidance to shipowners, ship operators and shipmasters to use privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships transiting the high risk piracy areas in the Gulf of Guinea and other zones in the Gulf of Aden.
The development made ship owners to pay as much as $60,000 to armed security guards to secure and protect vessels and crew.

For instance in Nigeria, shipping lines claimed that they spent over $200 million annually to protect cargoes and their crew by placing armed guards on board merchant vessels because of the menace of armed robbery in the Niger- Delta area.

However, the Federal Government said last week that such practice would no longer be business as usual for liners sailing on Nigerian waters.

Nigerian coasts have already been labeled as the hotbed of piracy and sea robbery.

The Government said that it was illegal and against Nigerian constitution for private armed guards to operate onboard vessels.

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, in Lagos, said that there were reasons to be worried about armed guards.

He noted that the private armed guards would not perform their anti-piracy duties in a way that does not escalate violence, involve unlawful use of force or cause international incidents.
Good golly. Why not sent out engraved invitations to the bad guys?

Oh, yes, the Nigerian government plans to offer up some sort of "investment" in security boats and the like to protect those they are looking at removing their protection:
The Managing Director of the authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, said at a stakeholders’ meeting in Apapa, Lagos that the management was considering a number of strategies to check the attacks.

The managing director noted such strategies when reinforced, would bring to book those behind the attacks on vessels berthing at the Lagos Port Complex.

Usman noted that more patrol boats would be acquired to patrol waterfronts.
Good luck with that.

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