Pirates up the stakes off west coast of Africa

The United Nations says pirate attacks off Africa’s west coast in the Gulf of Guinea are increasing and becoming more violent, sophisticated and systematic.

United Nations political chief B Lynn Pascoe said the International Maritime Organisation received 45 reports of piracy incidents involving seven west and central African nations in 2010 — and 64 reports of attacks involving nine countries last year.

Pascoe said the IMO has already recorded 10 piracy incidents off the coasts of Benin, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria in the first two months of this year.

Pascoe told the United Nations Security Council on Monday that Gulf of Guinea countries need a united front to respond to the growing piracy threat and urged regional leaders to hold an anti-piracy summit. — Sapa-AP

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