Maritime Organization (IMO) will convene a maritime security working group in
response to the growing number of pirate attacks on ships in the Gulf of
The working group
is set to meet at the next session of the Maritime Safety Committee, MSC 103,
scheduled to take place in May, to provide an opportunity for Member States and
international organizations to discuss further collaboration and possible
action to address the problem.
Kitack Lim emphasized the need for stakeholders to work together to
restore security in Gulf of Guinea
Secretary-General Kitack Lim expressed his concern about the escalation in the
number and severity of attacks on ships and crew in the Gulf of Guinea region,
and insisted on the need for stakeholders to work together to restore security
and reduce the threats to the safety and security of crews and vessels
operating in the region.The IMO said urgency of the situation has been
underlined by the recent attack on the containership MV Mozart on 23 January
2021, which resulted in a fatality and the kidnapping of 15 seafarers, who have
now been released.
In a circular
letter (No. 4382, issued 10 February), the Secretary-General said that IMO has
been taking action to enhance the coordination of initiatives among
stakeholders, including facilitating meetings with representatives of the
industry, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and
the Interregional Coordination Centre for the Implementation of Regional
Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa (ICC).
Ships need to implement the IMO endorsed Best Management Practices
also highlighted that ships need to implement the IMO endorsed Best Management
Practices (BMP) for West Africa (WA) to avoid, deter, delay and report attacks.
“IMO continues to
provide technical assistance to Member States in the region regarding the implementation
of maritime security measures,” IMO said in a statement. “The Organization is
currently working with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) to assist
with the implementation of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct (YCC), a regional code
aimed at enhancing maritime security and addressing piracy, armed robbery
against ships, illegal fishing and other illicit maritime activity.
“The IMO West and Central
Africa Maritime Security Trust Fund enables the Organization’s maritime
security capacity-building programme to assist Gulf of Guinea coastal States as
well as regional centres under the framework of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct,”
the IMO added.