A government spokesman said pirates attacked four ships in Libreville harbour.
A Gabonese captain was killed and four Chinese sailors abducted on Saturday in Gabon’s capital, Libreville, following an attack by pirates in the city’s harbour, the government has said.
“Pirate attacks were perpetrated … against four ships,” government spokesman Edgard Anicet Mboumbou Miyakou said on Sunday.
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea affects a number of countries in West Africa as well as the wider international community. But such attacks is not common in Libreville harbour.
Gabonese defence and security forces were deployed “to secure the area and track down the perpetrators with the cooperation of Interpol and sub-regional bodies,” Miyakou said.
A Sino-Gabonese company named Sigapeche own, the two of the affected ships (fishing vessels) which employs the four Chinese sailors.The third ship belongs to the maritime transport company Satram, based in Port Gentil, Gabon, while the fourth is a cargo vessel flying a Panamanian flag, a source noted.
The International Transport Worker’ Federation in a recent report said frequency of attacks in the piracy-plagued Gulf of Guinea is increasing. Sixty-two seafarers have been reported as abducted off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon so far this year.
In November 2019, the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that the Gulf of Guinea accounts for 86 percent of seafarers held hostage and nearly 82 percent of seafarers kidnappings worldwide.
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