Gulf of Guinea Piracy: Challenges and Constraints

Mar 9, 2012 | 17:34 GMT

Nigerian security forces inspect a barge seized from oil thieves in Nigeria's Rivers state



The Gulf of Guinea off the western coast of Africa is a ripe environment for piracy. Ships that travel through the area are laden with oil and other valuable cargo, the region's maritime security capabilities are weak and lack coordination, and pirates benefit from robust organized criminal groups and rampant on-shore corruption. As a result, the number of reported attacks in the gulf has grown in recent years. But Gulf of Guinea piracy is distinct from piracy around the Horn of Africa in several ways, hindering the ability of pirates to hold ships for ransom and limiting the risk they pose to international shipping.

Piracy off the western coast of Africa is thriving, but many factors will limit its impact on international shipping....

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