Nigeria and Benin mount patrols as piracy soars

Armed man on coast of Somalia with MV Filitsa, seized by pirates, in distance - 26 January 2010 The Gulf of Guinea has been put in the same category of risk as Somalia

Nigeria and its West African neighbour, Benin, have begun joint naval patrols in an effort to combat the threat of pirates.

The Gulf of Guinea has this year seen a marked increase in the number of attacks in its waters.

Last month, a group of London-based insurers rated part of its coast in the same high-risk category as Somalia.

The International Maritime Bureau says there have so far been 19 attacks off Benin's coast this year.

According to the bureau, which monitors such attacks, none were recorded off the same coast in 2010.

Emmanual Ogbor, head of Nigeria's western naval command, says that the reason for the increase is clear.

He says tough action from his ships has forced the pirates into areas where they can operate freely.

The joint patrols will initially last for six months and involve six Nigerian ships and helicopters with the Beninois initially contributing two vessels.

Although the joint operation is being dressed up an equal partnership, this is all about Nigeria helping out its neighbour to the west.

A spokesman from Benin's navy said the attacks had scared ships away and deeply affected the country's economy.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories


Features & Analysis

  • Leonardo da Vinci Self-PortraitMagical masterpiece

    The Leonardo hidden from Hitler in case it gave him special powers

  • Woman smelling pot of herbsWake up

    Is eating sage better for your alertness than coffee?

  • "$4BN" written on dollar billAn oligarch election?

    The super-rich, secret donors and rise of ‘dark money’

  • Zoe Quinn'GamerGate'

    The developer forced to leave her home due to threats

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • MonkeyMeet the tarsier

    The BBC travels to a Philippine island that is home to the world's oldest primate


  • Francis Rossi, co-founder of band Status QuoHARDtalk Watch

    Status Quo's Francis Rossi explains how alcohol led him to take cocaine

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.