Is Ghana becoming a piracy hot spot?

Recent attacks causing concern.

Is Ghana becoming a piracy hot spot?

Two recent attacks have raised concerns that Ghana could be turning into a hot spot for piracy and armed robbery at sea. On Friday, 26 July, the oil tanker Hai Soon 6 was reported missing off Ghana’s coast. This followed after an attack on the oil tanker Fair Artemis, which had taken place on 4 June 2014. Given that this area is not known to be a piracy hot spot, these attacks should sound an alert to West African authorities to take quick action and prioritise cooperation in maritime security.

This latest incident demonstrates that no West African country can claim to be immune from piracy, despite assurances to the contrary from Ghanaian leaders. This also highlights, more broadly, that there is a prevailing lack of cooperation among the operational personnel who are responsible for maritime security in West Africa; something which pirates are exploiting.

The Ghanaian authorities have expressed confidence in the security of their coasts, and say that this is being achieved through a number of developments. These include the acquisition of patrol boats operated by the navy and maritime police; setting up of a vessel traffic management system; and security cooperation with neighbouring countries. Following the Fair Artemis hijacking, Paul Asare Ansah, Head of Public Relations for the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, stated that ‘Ghana regularly maintains the security of its anchorage, having obtained boats that constantly maintain vigilance over its waters together with the navy and the maritime police.’

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Source: issafrica.org

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