Fight Against Piracy : Equatorial Guinea Solicits US Aid

The announcement was made after a meeting between Equatorial Guinea’s Foreign Minister and the acting US Undersecretary of Defence.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea has officially tabled a demand to the United States of America requesting for help in the fight against piracy attacks. The Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Simeon Oyono Esono Angue met the acting US undersecretary of Defence, Anthony Jean Tata on January 9, 2021 in Malabo. During the meeting with the US Undersecretary of State of Defence (who had earlier been received in audience by President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo), Minister Oyono Esono Angue stressed that maritime piracy is a key national security issue and presented the joint efforts being carried out by West Africa countries.

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The Guinean Minister insisted on the need for training, exchange of learning and the provision of equipment to effectively curb the attacks. Over 80% of Equatorial Guinea's Gross Domestic Product depends on oil and gas resources originating in the Gulf of Guinea. The country's oil and gas infrastructures suffered at least four kidnappings in 2020, which could do enormous damage to the national economy.

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According to the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there has been a 40% increase in the number of reported kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea in 2020 compared to 2019. IMB data on piracy activity in 2020 reports that 95% of global kidnappings took place in the area.

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