Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Security in Gulf of Guinea: ECCAS, ECOWAS and GGC Heads of States to meet in Yaounde

Insecurity is on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea
(News Watch Cameroon), Yaounde June 17, 2013--Cameroon will host the first ever summit of Heads of States and Governments of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).The meeting will have as focus maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea will open on June 24, 2013.
Cameroon’s communication Minister, Issa Tchiroma Bakary made the announcement in a press conference in Yaounde on Monday June 17, 2013.
The Yaounde summit follows resolution number 2039 of the meeting of the United Nations Security Council on February 29, 2012 in New York urging countries in West and Central Africa to take urgent steps to check piracy and armed attacks at sea on national and international levels.
According to Minister Tchiroma, the choice of Cameroon to host the summit is thanks to its commitment in ensuring security in the Gulf of Guinea.
“This is undoubtedly an irrefutable diplomatic victory for our country and for our Head of State. This is also an international acknowledgement of his commitment in favour of major national and supra-national fights, for the protection of properties and persons, the progress of nations and the improvement of living conditions of populations”
The Gulf of Guinea is the main oil region of Africa. It hosts the largest offshore oil deposits worldwide, representing up to 24 billion barrels of reserves that is 4.5% of world reserves.
Most sea trade transactions pass through the Gulf of Guinea making it to be exposed to multiple lusts as well as growing insecurity.
According to the International Maritime Organization, 46 attacks were recorded in 2009, 38 in 2010, 53 in 2011 and 60 attacks in 2012 in the Gulf of Guinea with 25% of attacks in Nigeria and 2% in Cameroon.
Following the adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolutions 2018 and 2039, a series of meetings involving the ECOWAS, ECCAS, UNOWA, UNOCA and GGC representatives led to the development of a roadmap which identified the need to organise a Summit of Heads of State and Government of the two Regional Economic Commissions, in Yaounde.
The heads of states and government of the region that covers ten (10) states of ECCAS and sixteen (16) States for ECOWAS will thus be chatting ways of curbing the growing insecurity in the region.
Cameroon’s communication Minister announced that all is set for Cameroon to host the two days event.
“The President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul Biya, set up a National Organising Committee mandated with the conception, organization and coordination of all necessary activities to prepare and ensure that this summit moves on smoothly”.
Besides Heads of States of the Regional Economic Commissions, Cameroon Government’s spokesman announced that special guests and representatives of international organizations are also expected to take part in the summit. 
Observer countries like Germany, Belgium, Brazil, China, Spain, the United States, Russia, France, Britain and Japan will also take part in the summit, Minister Tchiroma said.
By Ndi Eugene Ndi

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