THE-IMPORTANCE-OF-SECURITY

Report
“THE IMPORTANCE OF SECURITY IN THE GULF OF
GUINEA REGION AS A MARITIME TRANSPORT ROUTE”
PRESENTED
AT
THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON PEACE AND
SECURITY IN THE GULF OF GUINEA REGION
BY
FERDINAND N. AGU, MFR
SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FEDERAL
REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
27TH -29TH NOV. 2012
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
INTRODUCTION
OVERVIEW OF THE GULF OF GUINEA
THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF THE GULF OF GUINEA
SHIPPING ROUTE
SECURITY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
PIRACY AND OIL THEFT IN GULF OF GUINEA
REQUIREMENTS FOR ENHANCED SECURITY IN THE GULF OF
GUINEA AS A SHIPPING ROUTE
STATES AND REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS
NAVAL FORCES
LEGAL REGIME FOR PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF
6.1
6.2
6.3
PIRACY
6.4
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PARTNERS
7.0
THE WAY FORWARD
8.0
CONCLUSION
1.0
INTRODUCTION:
• The sea is vital to the survival of mankind. The resources that abound
in the sea are vast, at times beyond imagination. What we know and
value today may yet pale into insignificance when tomorrow reveals
even more wonders and our future generations are able to seize the
new opportunities.
• Today, over 80% of goods and cargo for international trade and
commerce are seaborne. Consequently, all regions and nations
share the common desire to: use the sea safely, securely, fully and
wisely; to ensure the safe transit of cargoes and people on all waters;
protect their maritime borders from intrusion; rescue those that may
become distressed in voyage; and prevent misuse of the oceans.
• These shared interests are pillars of the law of the seas. They are
affirmed in various international conventions and municipal statures.
The rights and obligations of nations and persons for safety of
navigation, secure and clean oceans are explicit.
• * The Gulf of Guinea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean. The
importance and imperatives of security, safe navigation and
freedom of the seas within and along its shipping route(s) are selfevident. So, why do the Gulf of Guinea region and its maritime
domain attract such considerable interest?
* In the Gulf of Guinea and beyond, this is a period of unique and
renewed hope. Every decade nations discover sea-based fortunes
hitherto unknown, bequest of a benevolent fate. Prospects now
abound for the transformations, prosperity and human security.
Can we seize the moment? Do we have the regional will and
international goodwill to overcome the challenges of insecurity in
the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain? This paper explores some of
the challenges and their concomitants.
2.0
OVERVIEW OF THE GULF OF GUINEA
• For the purpose of this presentation we shall consider the Gulf of Guinea
(GG) region as the 5,500 km coastal arch stretching from Senegal in West
Africa through Cameron in Central Africa to Angola on the Atlantic coast.
The maritime domain comprises the sum of the 12 nautical miles
Territorial Waters; 24 nautical miles Contiguous Zones and 200 nautical
miles Exclusive Economic Zones of the respective countries within the
region. It includes things on, under, relating to, adjacent to or bordering on
the sea, navigable waterway, infrastructure, people, cargo and vessels.The
gulf serves a hinterland with a population of over 350 million people that
are heavily reliant on the Gulf’s maritime resources and seaborne trade
3.0 THE STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF THE GULF
OF GUINEA SHIPPING ROUTE
• In the words of Rear Admiral Alfred T. Mahan; “the strategic
value of any place depends upon three principal conditions:
Its position, or more exactly its situation
The resources of the place itself and of the surrounding
country and;
Its military strength, offensive and defensive”
GULF OF GUINEA AS A SHIPPING ROUTE
•The Gulf of Guinea region easily satisfies the first two conditions. Its
deficiencies in the third condition underlie the current security challenge.
The GG is important hosts shipping lanes and port and off-shore facilities are
part of the global maritime transportation system and are thus an integral
part of the free transit of international/regional trade and commerce.You will
recall that when, years ago, crisis led to the closure of the Suez Canal. GG and
Cape of Good Hope served as the alternate for maritime trade between
Europe /North Atlantic and Asia/ Far East Pacific regions. Usually, the GG
shipping route and facilities serves the:
* Export/import of goods for the Coastal states and the neighbouring landlocked countries
* Regional and national coastwise transportation and trade
* The logistics needs services that sustain the exploration and exploitation of
the sea-based resources of the Region.
GULF OF GUINEA: A OIL SHIPPING ROUTE
• The GG region has proven hydrocarbon reserves of 50.4 billion
barrels and currently produces 5.4 million barrels per day with an
array productive activities ranging from exploration to
transportation of crude oil and gas onboard expensive high very
high value shipping asset (Tanker and LNG carriers). Thus the GG
shipping route is assuming greater importance as an energy
corridor and activity hub in the global energy industry.
4.0
SECURITY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES
Traditionally, the people and governments of the region
are more land-centric than seaward in outlook. As a
consequence, in the past, there was insufficient maritime
domain awareness and no concerted efforts to properly
secure the shipping routes. Inadequate maritime governance
translates to national and regional inability to exert effective
control over sea territory or to ensure the rule of law. Thus
there is a rising tide of violence, criminality and illegal
activities that now challenge the capacity of national and
regional authorities. It will be sufficient to limit ourselves to
the most violent, vicious and subversive of those challenges:
• Piracy and armed sea robbery
• Resource (Oil) Theft at sea
There are challenges that are important but which I shall
not belabour for and of time:
• Smuggling and Drug Trafficking
•
5.0 PIRACY AND OIL THEFT IN THE GULF OF GUINEA
.
• The International maritime Organisation (IMO) defines
piracy as “any illegal act of violence or detention, or
any act of deprivation, committed for private ends by
the crews or passengers of a private ship or a private
aircraft and directed on the high seas against another
ship or against persons or property on board such
ship”. Sea robbery, on the other hand is “the
commission of these acts in ports or terminal waters”.
• Of 1434 piracy attacks reported in Africa in 2011, GG
alone accounted for 427 attacks. In 2012, attacks in the
Gulf of Guinea were even more alarming in number;
and more violent against crews. It is the most serious
challenge to the region that serves as a shipping route
for large quantities of oil, cocoa and metals for the
global market.
• Theft of oil resources in the Gulf of Guinea began
years back as what we call “illegal bunkering”. In
its original form, IT was an economic crime but not
necessarily an act of piracy. Now, it is mostly a
piratical enterprise by local criminals in
collaboration with international syndicates. It is
piracy with a targeted specialization. Nigeria is the
major victim. The number of incidents is hard to
establish but the loss of national revenue is
estimated at about $5 - $7 billion annually. Yet, it
would be a mistake for anyone to regard this as a
localized challenge
• I must highlight the gravity of this crime and opine that it is not checked, oil
resource theft it will proliferate in the region. It will do so with dire economic
consequences and very adverse political, economic and human security
implications for the entire Gulf of Guinea.
The rise of piracy and oil resource theft in the Gulf of Guinea is due to
a combination of:
* weak institutions and uncoordinated regional responses
* unfettered access to small arms and light weapons (from smuggling).
* lack of prosecution mechanisms.
• There are urgent reasons and the need for collective regional
counter-piracy strategies. If we are to keep the Gulf of Guinea
shipping routes and maritime prospects in good order, then there
can be no room for piracy or oil thieves anywhere in the region.
Nations are different but the sea is one. At sea, a risk to one is a
risk to all unless there is adequate security or deterrence.
• The integrity of global shipping, international navigation, safety
and welfare of seafarers are at risk. Piracy costs the shipping
industry and Governments about $7 billion each year
• By undermining the economies of countries, piracy threatens the
political stability of the region and impacts negatively on
international peace and security
* Proceeds of piracy, oil theft and other crimes in the area may be used
to finance networks aiming to undermine States, and to support
international terrorism. A convergence of piracy and resource theft with
political grievance at a national or regional level will make it more
difficult for Governments regained full control over their territories.
SHIP ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED OIL THEFT
6.0
REQUIREMENTS FOR ENHANCED SECURITY IN
THE GULF OF GUINEA AS A SHIPPING ROUTE
6.1
STATES AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
• Security is the product of several factors. To secure the shipping
routes of the Gulf of Guinea, the immediate focus for will be for
national actions, regional cooperation and international
partnerships to contain suppress, and to ultimately eradicate
piracy, sea robbery and oil theft.
• This calls for political will and good faith. Resource will be
needed for capacity building and other measures to develop
effective national and regional maritime governance. Security in
the Gulf of Guinea will ultimately be achieved through maritime
domain awareness and control; the implementation and
enforcement of international maritime conventions; and other
established rules and regulations for shipping, ports management
and practices.
• Fortunately, Gulf of Guinea: States and regional organizations,
particularly Economic Community of Central African States
(ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS), the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) and the
Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA)
already working together. It may be possible to do more and to
move faster because the threats are not going to wait and the
disease is spreading without regard to sub regional groupings or
national identities. I hope this Conference will advance the
agenda of previous progress, and further encourage international
organizations and partners to help the region to develop
comprehensive and integrated, measures to:
• Prevent,
• Deter and Disrupt Attacks Sea; and to
• Prosecute and Punish pirates and their syndicates.
6.2
NAVAL FORCES:
• Naval forces are the most effective agencies for deterrence and
disruption of attacks. They can be national, regional or
multilateral; with capacities for full surveillance and regular
patrols, identification and tracking mechanism to quickly
determine ships that stop moving in high-risk areas. And, they
need the rapid response capacity for intervention, to project the
necessary force for control and dominance of the sea
environment.
• Practical models such cooperation and capacity building includes
the examples of Operation Prosperity. It is an on-going bilateral
initiative of Nigeria and Benin launched in October 2011, under
the MOWCA Coast Guards Framework Initiative to suppress
piracy. It should expand to include other countries or encourage
then to jointly venture.
• Exercise Obangame Express, a regional and multilateral naval
exercise of Africa, US and Europe, involving 12 nations to improve
the response capabilities of the Navies in the GG.
• The United States AFRICOM is an international
partnership initiative in capacity building and
information sharing through various training modules
as well as other maritime security programmes: Africa
Partnership Station Missions, Maritime Exercises, Africa
Maritime Law Enforcement Programme, Port Security
Partnerships and Maritime Domain Awareness.
6.3
LEGAL REGIME FOR PROSECUTION AND
PUNISHMENT OF PIRACY
• The lack of universal agreement on what constitutes piracy, and
how to try and punish perpetrators often result in many cases of
“catch and release”. 1,200 suspected pirates are being
prosecuted or awaiting prosecution in 21 countries worldwide.
• Fighting piracy must be based on the rule of law and ending of
impunity. GG States may need to review their relevant
legislation, work regionally and through all relevant
international organs to tackle related challenges. For those
pirates that steal oil, there should be an international regime to
follow "the money trail" and hit the crime leaders, not only their
foot soldiers.
• The international tools being developed and lessons learned
from other jurisdictions that had faced similar challenges of
piracy, can be helpful. In some countries, amendments to the
Penal Code and the Merchant Shipping Act gave national courts
the jurisdiction over offences committed on the high seas. These
could be studied for adaption by Gulf of Guinea States,
especially jurisdictions where piracy had been given a broader
definition, and courts can now prosecute suspected pirates
captured within and outside their country's territorial waters.
• GG States may consider and support the idea of a
specialized national, regional or international judicial
structure that will be solely devoted to investigate and
prosecute piracy cases. A form of this specialized
structure was recent proposed by Qatar for the Gulf
States. Whatever the case, GG States will benefit from
frameworks of best practice, intelligence and
information sharing between flag states, ports states
and coastal states as well as with regional bodies and
international partners.
6.4
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND
PARTNERS
• The United Nations is showing effective leadership, concern and
understanding. That leadership is indispensible especially for the
assistance that GG States and Regional Organization will need to
build capacities. The United Nations is best placed to initiate efforts
for global jurisdiction over piracy; and to formally reaffirm it as a
crime against humanity. It should be possible to have an international
regime that assures that the perpetrators, financiers and facilitators of
piracy and of resource/oil theft, whenever identified, can face trial at
an International Tribunal.
• International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other relevant
international organizations, are committed to formulate guidance on
use of privately contracted armed security personnel onboard
vessels of prevent maritime hijackings; and recommend provisions to
protect seafarer victims of piracy and to assist them after their
release.
• Additional assistance can be rendered by IMO through a Regional
needs assessment for effective implementation of ISPS Code, SAU
and other relevant Conventions. Thereafter, a dedicated programme
of accelerated capacity building can commence for the national
safety administration, Abuja Port State Control MoU, MOWCA and
others.
7.0
THE WAY FORWARD
• The menace of piracy and oil theft are the most
serious impediments to safety and security in the
Gulf of Guinea as a shipping route. States and
regional organizations are now giving the
necessary attention and leadership to reverse the
recent ugly trends. The support of the international
community and development partners are vital for
a multidimensional approach. That support is
yielding good results in Somalia and it can be
replicated in the Gulf Of Guinea in an appropriate
form.
• Piracy could not be tackled by military means
alone though, or by only strengthening the legal
regimes. Nevertheless, these are essential and
indeed urgently needed. A holistic approach will
include national governments to remain focused
on:
Tackling the social issues that breed insecurity,
especially the proliferation of small arms and light
weapons.
Concerted efforts to reduce poverty; as well as
corruption.
Stopping the environmental degradation of coastal
communities
Promoting the overall development and human
security of entire communities.
Positive and transformative actions will deprive the
criminal and deviant elements that engage in piracy of
all sympathy from the populace. Without that sympathy
or nonchalance from the populace, there will be no
place to pirates to hide on land or at sea. Then we can
truly secure the Gulf of Guinea for safe and secure
shipping; and clean oceans.
8.0
CONCLUSION:
The Gulf of Guinea region is at the thresholds of great
opportunity. Member States face peculiar and collective
challenges. Security is one of them. It is usually an in-country
challenge or there is a transnational spill over. For many countries
in the region, the security challenge that is spreading down from
the Sahel is ominous. Economic sabotage by piracy from the sea is
destabilizing.
With goodwill and sacrifice from the States and Regional
Organizations in the Gulf of Guinea; the assistance and support of
the international community and development partners, the
emergent challenges can be quarantined and overcome.
THANK YOU

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