Fighting piracy in the Gulf of Guinea needs a radical rethink

By Dirk Siebels

The Bonita had been anchored off Benin for several days, waiting for a berth in the port of Cotonou. On November 2, 2019 the crew had a traumatic awakening. Armed men boarded the vessel and kidnapped nine crew members. Only two days later, four seafarers were kidnapped from the Elka Aristotle, which was anchored off Lomé in neighbouring Togo.

Unfortunately, these were not the only attacks off the coast of West Africa in which seafarers were kidnapped. Nevertheless, the patterns are changing, with gradual signs of improvement. In addition, attacker success rates in the region have declined from 80% over ten years ago to just under 50% in 2018.

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