General News of 2014-06-09

Ghana’s coast under threat from pirates – Maritime expert

An expert in Maritime Laws and Security, Dr.Kamal Deen Ali says the Liberia-flagged oil tanker which was hijacked off the coast of Ghana should alert the nation’s maritime authorities to increase security in Ghana’s territorial waters to stop piracy.

A Liberia-flagged oil tanker went missing off the coast of Ghana after it was hijacked by pirates in Togolese waters.

The vessel is said to have been hijacked initially in Togolese waters but somehow found its way in Ghanaian waters.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Ali said the incident represents a threat to Ghana’s offshore energy industries and a major indication that the Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is becoming minimal.

“We need to be worried because this represents another major indication that the Maritime security environment in the Gulf of Guinea is becoming minimal and a threat even in regions or coastal areas where originally we have not had many pirating incidents,” Mr Ali said.

Asked whether there were precautionary measures to ensure the safety of oil industries offshore and resources at the Coast as a result of the development, Mr. Ali said “in terms of the precise information, we may never know until a few days when the vessel is found, then they can interview or interrogate the captain and also look at the details” of the incident.

He, however, stated that there is the indication that “the vessel might have been hijacked off the Coast of Togo and Ghana.”

Mr. Ali offered three concessionary circles of security; “the change and continuity in Nigeria’s insecurity, the permissive regional insecurity environment and the issue of oil security and insecurity,” as a means of understanding the incident.

Speaking on the same issue, the Head of Marketing and Public Relations at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr. Isaac Asare expressed the hope that the Ghana Navy and Ghana Maritime Authority take measures to boost the security of Ghana’s territorial waters.

Asked whether his outfit will be able to identify the missing vessel, Mr Asare said his outfit didn’t have jurisdiction over those areas, adding that it’s the responsibility of the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Ghana Navy to confirm the identity of the vessel.

Source: citifmonline.com
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