Equatorial Guinea and France have been discussing ways and means to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
At a meeting on Thursday between the Equatorial Guinea Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue and Olivier Brochenin, the French Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, the two countries reaffirmed their determination to reinforce their bilateral cooperation by placing a special accent on the defence and security sectors.
Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, who is the son of the Equato-Guinean Head of State Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Ambassador Brochenin reaffirmed the desire by their two governments to continue to consolidate their links in the military sector.
They underlined the necessity to reinforce the strategies for the fight against pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea region and the meeting also gave them the opportunity to discuss the Naval School of Tica which was inaugurated on July 28, 2019.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea increased by 40 per cent during the first nine months of the year 2020.
On the bases of this alarming spike in pirate attacks, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea and the French ambassador agreed on the necessity to train and equip the Equato-Guinean naval forces to acquire the capacity to efficiently respond to all eventualities in the Gulf of Guinea.
It should be recalled that the Gulf of Guinea extends from the coasts of Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) and Angola.
The Gulf of Guinea has recently overtaken the Somalia coast in the Horn of Africa, as the most dangerous pirate-infested coast in the world with mostly Nigerian pirates terrorizing the shipping lane and kidnapping sailors for ransom.