Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Security expert warns of more pirate attacks on Ghana’s oil


Dr Kwesi Aning, a security expert, has warned that there could be more pirate attacks on vessels carrying Ghana’s oil, if authorities downplay early signs of their operations on the country’s territorial waters.

He feared the rather dismissive approach by the Ghanaian authorities to nip pirates’ operations in the bud could cost the country a fortune.

“This [piracy] is something we are going to see more and more of as the oil comes off stream and the economy begins to grow…I think we will begin to see more attacks on the vessels,” he told Joy News on Tuesday.

Dr Aning’s concern stem from the GNPC’s denial of a VOA report that about 10 suspected pirates have hijacked a vessel carrying crude oil from Ghana.

According to him, the Gulf of Guinea, aside the Gulf of Aden, has been made dangerous due to the activities of the pirates, which, he said, are gradually rising from 2006, particularly at the coasts of Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria.

Dr Aning who works with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre said it was time the authorities put in place pragmatic measures and strategies to cease the activities of the pirates.

“We need much more consistent study on the strategies, the groups, their modes of attack, their weaponry to be able to design the response mechanisms that we need. Unfortunately, I think, there is a certain unwillingness to accept that this is going to be a growing trend, therefore, we need to start designing the response mechanisms.”

He also decried the ill preparedness of the security agencies, especially the navy, to combat sophisticated crimes that may arise as result of the oil production, saying, the current security arrangement in place to protect the oil is “far from satisfactory”.

Story by Isaac Essel/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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