West African Leaders Meet To Stamp Maritime Piracy

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VENTURES AFRICA – In a bid to cut down on piracy, the U.N shipping agency has disclosed that West African Heads-of-State, will meet this month to agree on legal code to fight piracy within its coastal waters.

The code to be adopted will includes arrest of pirates, prosecution and seizure of ships to ensure total eradication of this menace.

Modeled within the 2009 Eastern African Code Framework adopted – to tackle piracy in the Indian Ocean requires Western African leaders to “arrest and prosecute suspected pirates, seize any vessels believed to be used in the act of piracy and increase regional cooperation.”

The Secretary-General of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO), Koji Sekimizu, said on Tuesday night that, ” Quite soon, probably before the end of this month, heads of states of West African nations will be meeting in Cameroon, to try to adopt a new code of conduct for anti-piracy activities.”

Piracy has been on a steady increase in the gulf of guinea – a significant region for the cocoa [from Ivory Coast and Ghana] and oil from Nigeria (the region’s largest exporter) for the world’s market. Commercial ships in this region are not given the necessary protection required to reduce piracy as witnessed In Somalia.

Sekimizu suggested that the U.N was seeking to galvanize the wealthier countries to fund the operation, though he refused to disclose the required amount needed.