RMU launches maritime affairs and security course to combat Gulf of Guinea crimes

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RMU launches maritime affairs and security course to combat Gulf of Guinea crimes

Dr. Jethro W. Brooks Jr., Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (RMU), has highlighted the escalating risk faced by seafarers due to rampant violent attacks by pirates and criminals operating in the Gulf of . Speaking at the opening of the / Commission Support to the Integrated Maritime Strategy (SWAIMS) training in Maritime Affairs and Security, Dr. Brooks emphasized the urgent need to address these threats.

The “Maritime Affairs and Security Course,” initiated by the RMU, aims to enhance the capacity and competency of personnel from maritime-focused agencies and institutions across to combat crimes in the Gulf of . Dr. Brooks underscored the severity of the situation, citing 132 recorded incidents in 2020, including armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom, violent armed boarding, and hijacking.

According to Dr. Brooks, the ECOWAS Multinational Maritime Coordination Zone F 2020 annual report revealed that 136 crew members were abducted from 27 kidnapping incidents, accounting for 95% of global kidnapping for ransom. In contrast, the Indian Ocean reported only 36 incidents, none of which were classified as piracy. He emphasized that the Gulf of Guinea has become the most perilous waters for seafarers globally, severely impacting maritime activities and regional security.

The SWAIMS project aims to enhance regional governance and legal frameworks, prosecution and adjudication of maritime crimes, law enforcement operational capacities, and transnational cooperation. As part of this initiative, the RMU was selected to train sea actors, and naval, and law enforcement officers from .

Mr. Augustine Addy-Lamptey, RMU SWAIMS Project Coordinator, highlighted the importance of staying vigilant amid the evolving nature of maritime crimes. The six-week course, which commenced on April 2, 2024, covers essential modules such as maritime security environment, legal frameworks, blue economy, crisis management, and fisheries sector governance and security. Participants from Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and will benefit from this comprehensive training to tackle maritime threats effectively.

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