Nigeria collaborates with 10 other countries to fight piracy in Gulf of Guinea

February 28, 2012 11:30 am 

CALABAR, Nigeria, Feb. 28 — Nigeria and 10 other countries, including the United States, Belgium and Spain on Monday began a naval exercise against piracy, oil theft, smuggling and other maritime security challenges plaguing the West and Central African waters, especially the Gulf of Guinea.

Other navies taking part in the exercise are Cameroun, Gabon, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Benin Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, as well as Togo.

Nigeria's chief of Naval Staff Ola Ibrahim, who disclosed this to reporters here on Monday, said the exercise currently hosted by the country in the Calabar waters is code-named Exercise Obangame Express 2012.

He said warships from the 11 countries participating in the week-long exercise arrived in the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command on Sunday.

According to Ibrahim who said the exercise would bring about the much needed cooperation among the navies involved, it would also ensure that the Nigerian Navy and its ships were battle-ready for the task ahead.

"The exercise would afford the participating countries the opportunity to share information, refine tactics, techniques and procedures in combating maritime security challenges," he added.

Ascertaining that the Obangame Express 2012 would enhance the collaborating navies the ability to work together to deter crimes at sea, the naval chief said the exercise is further designed to promote the proficiency of the regional maritime stakeholders.

This, he said, was in concert with the U.S. and European partners to counter piracy and illicit activities in the Gulf of Guinea.

"No nation can fight the sea-based crimes alone," he maintained.(PNA/Xinhua)



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