Ivory Coast is adding around 40 new vessels, mostly from French shipyard Raidco, to its depleted navy as it confronts a growing threat from pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the country’s defence minister.
Attacks on commercial vessels off the coast of oil-rich West Africa jumped by a third last year. The first known hijacking of a vessel in Ivory Coast territorial waters occurred late in 2012. Similar attacks followed.
“These vessels will provide security on our rivers, the lagoon and at sea,” Defence Minister Paul Koffi Koffi said yesterday. “They will fight piracy, infiltration and illicit trafficking and will be managed by the navy.”