Guard Against Pirates on Ghana’s High Seas
The Executive Director of the Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa (CEMLAWS Africa), Commander Kamal-Deen Ali (PhD) has called on government to intensify surveillance on Ghana’s maritime domain in order to address issues of pirates and armed robbery at sea.
According to him, the activities of fanatics on Ghana’s territorial waters could be detrimental to the country’s security as well as its economic prospects at the ports.
“One piracy issue means a lot when it comes to the safety and security of the region. Just imagine that as a country we depend on the ports for most of our revenue and remember that as a country we are increasing looking at the maritime domain for oil and gas so any form of insecurity within our maritime domain is highly disruptive to our economy,” Commander Kamal-Deen Ali noted.
His comments follow the hijacking of the Ghanaian fishing vessel last Monday by pirates.
The Ghanaian vessel―Marine 711 and its crew were reportedly taken hostage by alleged Nigerian hijackers who attempted to cease the Tuna Vessel on the Keta high seas.
Commander Kamal-Deen Ali says though maritime operations are very expensive, the Ghanaian maritime sector must be ready to invest in it.
“Surveillance is important so we must continue to survey the maritime domain, increase maritime domain awareness, awareness of what is happening and capability to deploy at sea and do that quickly…maritime operations are very expensive so as countries we must invest in that….to address serious governance and legal deficits that we have in the whole spectrum of responding to maritime security,” he said.
“…we have been dealing with a decade old piracy situation so it means that this is something that is very topical and something that should be worrying to us as a country, the region as a whole and the international community.
“Piracy is a crime and there are certain motivations that underpin every crime. We have a number of issues but typically in the west coast of Africa, most of the high piracy incidence are conducted by ex-Niger-Delta militants in Nigeria,” he revealed.
South Korea Involved
Meanwhile, South Korea has deployed a naval vessel from its regional anti-piracy effort to search for the hijacked fishing boat.
According to reports, the fishing boat had about 40 crew – mostly from Ghana but including three South Koreans.
It is alleged that the pirates used a speedboat to take away the South Koreans towards Bayelsa, in Nigeria.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org