PIRATE ATTACKS BECOME RAMPANT IN BAKASSI


Attacks by pirates in the Cameroonian peninsular of Bakassi, have been on the rise, ever since the territory was formerly handed over to Cameroon, on August 14, 2013.

Recently, on October 16, 2013, pirates, believed to have travelled from the Nigerian side, attacked three trawlers in the Bakassi waters around Rio Del Rey, shot the captain of one of them, and took two others hostage.

According to reports on a local newspaper, the victim, Jude Ajie, was spared, only after his ship engineer paid the pirates the sum of FCFA 1 million. This is obviously not new, as ransoms have been paid in past cases to pirates, notably, for the release of two CDC Malaysian workers; the French hostages taken in the North of Cameroon, to name but these.

On another instance, it was reported by another local newspaper( Mutations), that pirates hit the Cameroonian side on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. This time around, a group of 10 Nigerian pirates targeted a Nigerian fisherman, who operated with a Cameroonian license in Cameroonian waters. They took the captain of the trawler, together with his mechanic.

Though trusted sources reveal that the 10-man group could well be responsible for the last attack, the group is yet unnamed. However, the security element, BIR Delta, charged with ensuring the safety of all on the peninsular, attests to the proper organization of the pirates as compared to other known groups, which are well armed.

These pirates, target not only humans to demand a ransom, but equally seize flying boats, outboard engines, and any other valuable that can bring in cash.

A top military official however believes these recurrent attacks are as a result of BIR Delta’s concentration around oil fields, to the detriment of the population, whom he says, have to be the focus. He therefore proposes, as remedy, that elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR Delta, be in every boat, to curb the worsening situation of pirate attacks, especially in Cameroonian waters.

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