INTERTANKO shifts focus to Nigeria, Benin pirates
The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners is calling for action to combat piracy off West Africa.
While it is piracy off the East Coast of Africa near Somalia that has captured the world’s attention during the past year, the group said it was “shocked and appalled' by the report of the chief officer who lost his life during a pirate attack on the tanker Cancale Star off Cotonou on Nov. 24.
“INTERTANKO notes with deep concern the continuing violent piracy activity in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly off Nigeria and Benin. This situation must not continue unchecked. We appreciate the huge commitment and dedication by naval forces to date in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia, and the commitment made by the countries bordering the Singapore Straits to combat piracy, but action also needs to be taken off West Africa,” the group said in a statement.
“We call on the nations of the world to unite and work together against the scourge of piracy, not just in this region but globally. This may be through diplomatic efforts, and/or through helping to increase the provision of naval forces or other assets in the region, in order to protect our shipping lanes so that these vital arteries can continue unhindered to carry the world's trade,” the group said.