The Gulf of Guinea, the new cradle of maritime piracy. The latest report from the International Maritime Bureau (BMI) indicates that in the last year 90% of piracy worldwide has taken place in this vast oceanographic space.
About a decade ago, navigating Somali seas was as dangerous as walking in jihadist territory. Maritime piracy was so high.
But in recent times, few acts of piracy from the Horn of Africa have been recorded by the BMI. As if the Gulf of Guinea was taking over! According to the BMI, 90% of piracy activities of the latter take place on this western maritime coast of Africa.
The number of crew members abducted off West Africa increased from 78 in 2018 from 121 in 2019. In the last quarter, 64 crew members were kidnapped in six different incidents.
The new report lists 162 incidents of piracy and armed robbery worldwide in 2019, including 130 boarded ships, 11 ships fired on, including 10 in the Gulf of Guinea, and 17 attempted attacks.
Hence to conclude that the Gulf of Guinea now constitutes « a serious and immediate threat to the safety and security of the crews and ships operating in the region ».
Covering more than 5.6 million km², the Gulf of Guinea stretches from Liberia to Angola via Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon , Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Congo and the DRC.