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Africa requests Intl force to curb piracy attacks

From BBC

West and Central African leaders are calling for the deployment of an international naval force to curb the growing threat of piracy off the Gulf of Guinea.

Cote D’Ivoire President, Alassan Quattara, said: “Piracy in the region needed to be tackled with firmness.”

According to the BBC, President Quattara made the call Monday, June 24, 2013 at a meeting of regional leaders in the Cameroonian Capital, Yaoundé,

“Now, there are more pirate attacks off the West African coast than off the Somali coast. Patrols by foreign warships have reduced attacks by Somali pirates,” the BBC, quoting a maritime group, said last week.

“About 960 sailors were attacked in West Africa in 2012, as compared to 851 off the Somali coast,” the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and other seafarer groups also said last week.

The report added: “This was the first time that more pirate attacks had been reported off the Gulf of Guinea.”

“The highest risk area for pirate activities in West Africa is off the coast of Nigeria, the Continent’s biggest oil producer,” correspondents noted.

President Quattara then urged the international community to show the same firmness in the Gulf of Guinea as displayed in the Gulf of Aden, where the presence of international naval forces has helped to drastically reduce acts of piracy.

Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, said at the gathering:  “It was vital to respond to the threat to protect shipping routes and the region’s economic interests.”


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