In order to curb, contain and eliminate the threat of maritime piracy and armed robbery prevailing in the Gulf of Guinea, the Government of India has sent Indian Navy Ships for patrolling purposes and has sent a fleet to develop anti-piracy capacities of other nations in the vicinity of the Guinean Gulf who are eager to help in fighting for the cause. The Indian Navy has been deployed in the Gulf of Guinea on September 4th 2022 for the same.
According to the Deputy Permanent Representative of India at the UNSC, R. Ravindra – “Piracy in the region can be defeated through effective cooperation and implementation of legal frameworks.” The legal framework is none other than the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. (UNCLOS) an international guideline followed by navies throughout the globe.
The issue is important in the sense that Piracy is not only a threat to the freedom of navigation but also causes destabilizing effects on global and regional trade and security. The negative humanitarian impact of this threat on sea, piracy and the lifeline of international shipping cannot be compromised any longer. The rapid growth of international trade through maritime navigation the growth of piracy in the past two decades has been unprecedented.
Another area which is crucial for both India and the Gulf of Guinea is maritime security. According to a report from the UN Secretary-General, the number of piracy issues has been reduced in the Gulf by the deterrent effects of the Nigerian Navy naval patrols. The report further highlights the growing risk of a terrorist threat from the Central Sahel towards the Gulf of Guinea, as was demonstrated by the terrorist attacks against government forces in Benin and Togo since 2021.
While we welcome these convictions, much more needs to be done to check the impunity of pirates,” added Ravindra. He added that “We encourage the countries of the region to take steps to enact legislation for criminalizing piracy to the full extent as set out in UNCLOS that has also been referred to in the report in order to achieve effective suppression of piracy in the region,” said the Indian envoy. He also highlighted the zonal, sub-regional and interregional coordination arrangements that face several challenges such as a lack of predictable and sustainable financing, adequate expertise, equipment and logistical support, as well as timely information sharing.