This research focuses on the impact of maritime piracy on international shipping in the Gulf of Guinea (a concentration of sea ports along the west African coast line with Gabon ad Senegal inclusive). The purpose of the research study is to identify the possible cause of the impending dilemma of piracy and consequential direct and indirect impacts of it on internal shipping and shipment. This research was carried out at the Alpha Maritime Shipping Service (AMSS) and NTOKAM maritime shipping service in Limbe town of the south west region of the Republic of Cameroon. A survey methodology was used to carry out the study. This was done with questionnaires with a combination of closed ended and open ended questions. Findings revealed that maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea began as far back as in the early 1960s with stowaways' passengers (people who hide in ships to illicitly travel from one country to the other). To ascertain successful ventures, most of the illicit passengers smuggle arms into ships (piracy intent) to rob or threaten crew members and this was often done (piracy) resulting to lots of adverse consequences that culminate to down grading the economy of many African states as the case is at the moment. To this regard, African countries within the Gulf of Guinea in collaboration with the International Maritime organization (IMO) should organize a seminar to train the managers of seaports to be able to analyze the state of play of stowaway's passengers and more offensive and effective mechanisms should be put in place to eradicate piracy.
1.1 Background of the Study
Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue particularly in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea. People who engage in these acts are called pirates. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against lessons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator. The issue of maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea seems to derive from a lack of good governance and security capabilities of countries along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. In May 2012, representatives from more than 20 African nations attended the economic community of central African states.
However, ECCAS and economic community of West African states (ECOWAS) held an event on maritime safety and security conference in Benin, an event hosted by Africa command (AFRICOM) (Owalabi, 2013). Along with guests from the united nations, the African union, Europe, and the united states, African representative's strategies on the ways to cooperatively fight maritime piracy, and produced a memorandum of understanding between the different groups, although this is a step in the right direction, future efforts must result in concrete action. In June 2013 summit in Yaoundé Cameroon, and UN resolution 2039 (2013) on the piracy in the Gulf of Guinea was held which is a most significant development.
Nowadays, according to both customary and conventional international law, maritime piracy on the high seas is considered as an international crime and all states have the right to suppress it. Particularly, according to Campana, (Campana Corrado (2014), p. 7.) “for an act to be considered piracy under international law, the following conditions must be met: i) the act must be an illegal act of violence, detention, or depredation (the “illegal violence rule”); ii) the act must be motivated by private ends (the “lucre causa rule”); iii) two ships must be involved in the incident, the victim ship and the pirate ship (the “two ship rule”); and iv) the act must be committed on the high seas or waters outside the jurisdiction of any state (the “high seas rule”)”.Maritime piracy is not a new phenomenon in the international system. Over the past decade, observers have increasingly recognized that piracy, while certainly not an existential threat to the global economic system, can pose significant challenges to international order and stability.
1.2 Problem Statement
Maritime piracy poses a great threat, both short and long term to international maritime trade. Since maritime trade is such an integral part of international trade, all countries and consumers will be affected negatively. It has been said that millions of dollars are lost as a direct result of maritime piracy. Piracy has become more increasingly violent. Although piracy attacks declined in the 19th and 20th centuries, a new surge began in the 1990s (O' Brien Melanie (2014), p. 81.) This phenomenon never disappeared completely and nowadays it is still present, especially in the Gulf of Guinea. Besides arm robbery, hijacking the whole ship and cargo is a routine job for modern pirates. This phenomenon is a serious threat to the maritime shipping industry and international trade.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of the study are to study the impact of piracy in the advancement in international shipping in the Gulf of Guinea.
1.3.1 Specific objectives
To determine the impact of piracy and what strategies do member states use to combat piracy in the Gulf of GuineaTo determine the Impact of piracy attacks on shipping companies and international shipping
THE IMPACTS OF PIRACY TO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING IN THE GULF OF GUINEA
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