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Gulf of Guinea Focus - Week 51


61 Nigerians, Others Drown In Shipwreck Off Libya
61 Nigerians, Others Drown In Shipwreck Off Libya

Sixty-one migrants, including women and children from Nigeria, Gambia and other African countries have reportedly drowned following a “tragic shipwreck” off the coast of Libya, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said. The IOM’s Libya office disclosed this in a post on X, saying the boat had about 86 people on it. It said, “61 migrants including women and children drowned following a tragic shipwreck off Libya. According to the survivors, the boat with around 86 people left the Libyan shores from Zwara. The central Mediterranean continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes.” Libya is a key transit point and thousands of people go there annually in a bid to get to Europe, in search of greener pastures. IOM said more than 2,250 people died this year on the Mediterranean migrant route.


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Red Sea Tension: ITF applauds Maersk, Others For Putting Seafarers First
Red Sea Tension: ITF applauds Maersk, Others For Putting Seafarers First

With continued attacks on ships in the Red Sea, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has said that the safety of seafarers should be paramount, as Ocean Network Express (ONE) becomes the latest to say it is avoiding the region. The ITF acknowledged the steps taken by leading container shipping companies including Maersk, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd to divert their vessels from the region, as well as tanker companies BP and Frontline. “The primary concern of the ITF is the safety of seafarers and we would expect shipping companies to share that concern. Seafarers move the world. We applaud companies that are rerouting their vessels. The focus at this time needs to be about the health and safety of the seafarers and less about the cost of oil and transport,” ITF General Secretary, Stephen Cotton, said. CMA CGM, HMM, and ONE have all also said they will temporarily stop transiting the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.


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Military Deactivates 68 Illegal Refining Sites In Niger Delta.
Military Deactivates 68 Illegal Refining Sites In Niger Delta.

Troops of Operation Delta Safe, in the last one week, uncovered and destroyed 68 illegal refining sites in the Niger Delta. The troops also apprehended 42 suspected oil thieves in the region. The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made this known while briefing newsmen on the operations of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The troops had maintained momentum against the activities of crude oil theft in the region with recovery of 234,000 liters of stolen crude oil, 160,800 liters of illegally refined automotive gas oil and 10,800 liters of premium motor spirit. He added that troops discovered and destroyed nine dugout pits, 14 boats, 43 storage tanks, two motorcycles and nine vehicles. “Other items recovered include 71 cooking ovens, three pump machines and 37 illegal refining sites.


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Navy Apprehends 23 Vessels, Destroys 703 Illegal Refineries- CNS
Navy Apprehends 23 Vessels, Destroys 703 Illegal Refineries- CNS

The Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, said the Nigerian Navy had so far apprehended 23 vessels and destroyed 703 illegal refineries in its operations. Ogalla disclosed this during a meeting with Principal Staff Officers, Flag Officers Commanding and Base Commanders. He also said that the service had arrested 232 suspected oil thieves till date. He said the navy also apprehended five barges, 690 Cotonou boats laden with stolen crude, 116 speed boats as well as 82 vehicles and trucks. “I am delighted to report that between January and December 2023, the Nigerian Navy destroyed 703 illegal refining sites and arrested five barges, 690 Cotonou boats laden with stolen crude, 116 speed boats as well as 232 suspects engaged in Crude Oil Theft (COT). “During the period, 82 vehicles/trucks and 23 vessels were also arrested,” he said. Ogalla said the Nigerian Navy seized 803,353.20 barrels of crude worth more than N1.5 billion from economic saboteurs.


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Maersk to Resume Red Sea Transits as U.S. Begins ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’
Maersk to Resume Red Sea Transits as U.S. Begins ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian’

Danish container shipping major Maersk is preparing to resume vessel transits through the Red Sea following the deployment of naval assets in the region under the multinational security initiative Operation Prosperity Guardian (OPG). The United States launched the new multinational security operation under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces and the leadership of Task Force 153, which focuses on security in the Red Sea. In addition to the United States; United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain have also signed onto the initiative. Maersk joined numerous carriers in suspending vessel transits in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden following the escalation of the security situation in the region and the growing number of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi Group.


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Oil Explosion From Agip Pipeline Claims 20 lives in Rivers
Oil Explosion From Agip Pipeline Claims 20 lives in Rivers

No fewer than 20 persons have lost their lives in an oil condensate explosion from a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in Obrikom, near Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State. Witnesses said the explosion occurred over the weekend at a waterside in Obrikom community on the Obiafu I and II pipelines in ONELGA, a major oil and gas hub in Rivers State, as people were scooping the product into containers from a tapping point on the hacked pipeline. An eyewitness, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said while 20 persons were feared dead, many suffered varying degrees of burns and were receiving treatment in different hospitals in the area, including Omoku General Hospital. Confirming the development, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, has condemned the acts that led to the fire explosion on the Agip pipeline in Rivers State.


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