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Petro-piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

Cooperation to ensure maritime security in the region

April 2023

When talking about piracy, it is common to quickly associate it with the region of Somalia in East Africa. It is true that for many years, the Somali coast was known for having the highest number of piracy incidents in the world. However, it is important to note that this situation has changed, and that currently the Gulf of Guinea, located in West Africa, has surpassed Somalia as the area with the highest piracy rate in the world.

Before delving into the topic of piracy, it is important to consider its most basic definition. According to Article 101a of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), piracy refers to acts of aggression committed by a private ship and its crew against the property or crew of another ship on the high seas. That is, these incidents occur outside the jurisdiction of any state. It is important to highlight this difference between piracy and armed maritime robbery, as the latter takes place in the territorial waters of a state and, therefore, the state has jurisdiction over the crime.

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