Piracy is back to infest West African waters, but what’s driving it?
What makes the waters of the Gulf of Guinea vulnerable to piracy?
When it comes to discussing the concept of maritime security, the concept can be discussed in a variety of contexts. Broadly defined, maritime security concerns the protection of states’ land and maritime territories, and is affected by a broad range of illegal activities, including arms, drugs, and human trafficking, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and pollution at sea. But, such acts only tends to get media coverage when pirates are involved.
African maritime security is particularly severely affected by maritime piracy and armed robbery at sea. Maritime piracy is not a new phenomenon; it has existed for as long as people and commodities have traversed the oceans. Under article 101 of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, piracy is defined as:
“Any acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed on the high seas by the crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state for private ends.”
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Security and Risk Report 24/05/23
MAST’s security report issue 370 is available to read now. In the Gulf of Guinea, the US Consulate has praised the efforts of the Nigerian