Piracy is a major problem, as NewsBlaze often reports, thanks to ECOTERRA. The West African subregion loses $2 billion annually to maritime attacks, according to Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN.
On her remarks at a Security Council Debate On Piracy and Maritime Armed Robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, Ms. Rice said that the impact of maritime crime on local economies is staggering.
She cites that loses of West African subregion due to prevailing piracy in Gulf of Guinea is a high price for a region with extensive development needs and already fragile economies.
"Benin saw a 70-percent decrease in the number of ships entering the port of Cotonou, following its designation as a high risk by a maritime insurance company last August. And no price can be placed on the loss of life, as occured on February 13th when gunmen shot and killed the captain and chief engineer of a cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria." -Ms. Rice
To address the problem of piracy in Gulf of Guniea, the U.S. government stresses that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea requires the strongest possible regional response, with international help.Since 2007, the U.S. has provided approximately $35 million in assistance to regional states to build maritime security capacity, including coastal radars, equipment, boats, and associated training.She stresses that the United States is committed to working with our African and other international partners through programs like the Africa Partnership Station and the Africa Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership.She notes that Obangame Express 2012- a regional Gulf of Guinea maritime exercise to help local forces improve
their capabilities to counter illicit maritime activities will conclude in the coming days.
The exercise includes participation from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome & Principe, Togo, Benin, and Republic of Congo, as well as non-African partners.
"There can be no doubt that the situation has become more grave in Gulf of Guinea." -Ms. Rice
She underlines that the primary responsibility for patrolling and securing offshore areas, of course, rests with the countries of the Gulf of Guinea….