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Emerging Piracy Threat in the Gulf of Guinea

Emerging Piracy Threat in the Gulf of Guinea

While piracy has decreased on the Horn of Africa, experts warn of more attacks in the Gulf of Guinea. The west African coast is becoming a dangerous hotspot for international navigation. Thanks to the massive presence of international naval patrols, piracy has decreased over the last few years in the Gulf of Aden.

Emerging Piracy Threat in the Gulf of Guinea

While there were 163 attacks in 2009, in 2012 only 35 ships were attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia. But piracy is on the increase off the west coast of Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, which reaches from Cote d'Ivoire to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in London, the 51 pirate attacks there in 2012 were an increase of 42 percent over the previous year.

In 2013, there have been at least five attacks so far, according to the IMB's live piracy map. The reasons for the development include political instability and social conflicts in the states on the Gulf of Guinea. But experts say employing a massive naval presence similar to the one off the Horn of Africa is unlikely to solve the problems on Africa's western coasts. That's because many of the countries along Africa's western coast are plagued by social conflict and political instability. Strong international interest in stabilizing the region.

Emerging Piracy Threat in the Gulf of Guinea

There are huge oil resources in the states along the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa There is a strong incentive for intervention: The countries along the Gulf of Guinea produce around 500 million liters (three million barrels) of crude oil every day. Europe buys 40 percent of its oil in this region, the US some 30 percent. So it's not surprising that the international community is interested in stabilizing the Gulf of Guinea region to take the wind out of the pirates' sails.

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