Gulf of Guinea neighbours to share crime-fighting

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Four countries on Africa’s Gulf of Guinea will join forces to fight rising crime along its coastline.
The Gulf of Guinea, which stretches from Nigeria in the north to Angola in the south and where nations produce 5 million barrels of oil per day, has attracted armed gangs, pirates and organised criminals, Reuters says.
In the past year, oil platforms, ships, banks and the presidential palace on Equatorial Guinea have been attacked.
Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Sao Tome and Principe will plan and coordinate joint sea operations to combat this threat, Cameroon`s defence minister Rene Ze Meka told journalists.
“We cannot sit back and fold our arms to watch the Gulf of Guinea become the bastion of organised crime like the Gulf of Aden … no one country can do it all alone,” the minister said.
“The four countries have committed themselves to put their human and material resources together to fight against growing crime in the gulf, ensure maritime security, the free navigation of vessels and the exercise of other economic activities,” Ze Meka told journalists.
He appealed for international help, saying the four countries — which represent Zone D of the Gulf, as demarcated by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) — lacked the means to fight the criminals operating there.
Angola, current chair of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, has previously called for a regional security mechanism to tackle shared threats.
Nigerian and Cameroonian officials frequently talk about cooperation on joint strategies, but the region simmers with oil and border disputes.
 
Pic: Nigerian MEND militants at sea.