IMO calls for greater action to combat Gulf of Guinea piracy

Intercargo deeply concerned for 10 seafarers kidnapped by pirates off Nigeria

 

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has called for increased collaboration to tackle piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

In a resolution adopted this month by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) to address piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea, the IMO urged IMO Member States, national authorities, the United Nations and other relevant organizations to consider strengthening law enforcement to arrest and prosecute pirates in relevant jurisdictions in accordance with international law and national legal frameworks. Coastal States are also urged to harmonize criminal penalties.

The IMO has also called for improved governance of available protection solutions, such as security escort vessels for assisting other vessels, in accordance with international law and respect for sovereign rights of coastal states.

To help improve maritime security and safety in the region, the IMO urges support and participating in the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum (GoG-MCF/SHADE GoG) as well as other platforms, such as the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++FoGG).

The resolution highlights the need for greater collaboration with all critical stakeholders, including information-sharing on maritime criminality and illegality, use of maritime domain awareness such as MDAT-GoG (Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade for the Gulf of Guinea) and use of surface and/or air patrol capabilities.

The resolution also requests the IMO’s Secretary-General to make full use of technical cooperation funds to support capacity-building in the region to tackle piracy and armed robbery and to look at creating a common platform for information sharing between existing mechanisms, such as MDAT-GoG, the NIMASA C4i-Centre, Regional Reporting Centres, the ICC IMB Piracy reporting centre, and relevant responding law enforcement entities.

Member States, international organizations and relevant stakeholders are also urged to contribute to the IMO West and Central Africa Maritime Security Trust Fund.

Crew kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea surged to a new record in 2020, with 130 crew members kidnapped in 22 separate incidents in the region, the International Maritime Bureau reported in its annual piracy report.

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