West African states were failing to coordinate their response to piracy, and this was the main reasons that the attacks were continuing, claimed Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe earlier this week.
Two vessels were boarded off the coast of Togo and neighbouring Benin earlier this month. West African states abutting the Gulf of Guinea and western partners signed a pact in 2013 to collaborate in a fight against piracy, but the region now accounts for 40% of the world’s reported incidents.
Togo has a coastline of only 30 miles and its forces typically pursue pirates only in their own waters. They then need to hand over to a neighbouring state to continue the chase, Gnassingbe told Bloomberg.
“Individually countries are doing what needs to be done,” Gnassingbe said. “Where we are a little bit weak is how to cooperate. We need to cooperate and take some measures.”
The Gulf of Guinea now accounts for more than 80% of crew kidnappings globally, leading to higher insurance premiums and security expenses, which have in turn driven up the cost of shipping in the region.