Page 10: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)
10 Maritime Professional 1Q 2011
Gulf of Guinea, has a wider range of motivating fac- tors. Additionally, the perpetrators in the region can be placed into distinct, though at times difficult to discern, classes. Small scale criminals focus on petty crime against vessels in port, while large organised criminal gangs focus primarily on the more lucrative kidnap for ransom. Both are motivated by greed.
The militant factions within the region also focus on kidnap for ransom, but are politically motivated and driven by redressing local grievances. A complex operating environment has been created because the lines between the three groups are not always readi- ly identifiable.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger
Delta (MEND), who have engaged in some of the more audacious maritime assaults offshore Nigeria, have been involved in the high-profile amnesty pro- gram.
However, there remain ongoing challenges with the post-amnesty program and some displaced and dis- gruntled ex-militants have engaged in criminal activ- ity and even a return to militancy. Large scale attacks in November that were executed by a rene- gade faction of MEND, led by the now arrested
Sotonye Kaneji Ikiba (aka Tony Obese), have served to underline the concerns of durability of the amnesty program.
The situation is further complicated by several major factors, not least of which is the complex inter- play of piracy and militancy that has undermined the
Nigerian, Bakassi and Cameroonian offshore risk environment.
This affects Nigeria and Cameroon more so than other neighboring countries, which by comparison are able to ensure a more stable and permissive off- shore risk environment. The Africa Marine
Commandos (AMC), a faction of the Bakassi
Freedom Fighters (BFF) who claim to be fighting for the compensation of Bakassi Nigerian’s displaced population, are believed to have been responsible for all of the major piratical activity off the Bakassi coast, Cameroon, and even into Nigerian waters throughout 2010.
The pervasive threat posed by Somali pirates and the ransoms that they have so far garnered, has com-
PIRACY HOT SPOTS
The African coasts, both East Coast (above) and West Coast (below) remain the world’s most perilous areas for commercial ships and seamen.