Africa Monitor

Africa Monitor Intelligence

São Tomé and Príncipe: Maritime Piracy “Surrounding”

Vessels identified as involved in maritime piracy actions in the Gulf of Guinea have been increasingly seen in the territorial waters of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP), but the authorities, supposedly supported by competent international reports, do not consider that such movements are targeted at their country or parts thereof.
The entering of São Toméan waters by the aforementioned vessels occurs in the wake of escape operations - generally with the intention of evading the approach of warships or in the event of failure of piracy actions.
Most of the sightings have so far occurred near two uninhabited islets, known as Tinhosas, but there are suspicions that the island of Príncipe is also used as a refuge.
Its authors are mostly from countries in the region itself, in particular from Nigeria. They dedicate themselves to maritime piracy allegedly driven by phenomena of social pressure and others generated by problems of chronic instability in their countries. Their targets are generally members of the crews of the boarded ships, for whose release they ask for ransoms. READ MORE