During a recent webinar, I provided a brief summary of case studies from the Gulf of Guinea. These were attacks that have been broadly reported as ‘piracy attacks’ over the past months, even though many of these incidents were likely related to other maritime security issues which are prevalent across the region.
These issues include illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, but also smuggling of legal cargoes such as fuel, timber or agricultural products. Unfortunately, the focus of international partners is largely on issues such as drug smuggling or weapons trafficking. This mismatch with priorities of governments – and security agencies – across West and Central Africa makes it hard to align efforts and to find sustainable solutions.