The UGS calls for immediate and effective intervention by the international community to prevent and respond to attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea

Piraeus, 8.11.2019

The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) is following with great worry and concern the serious situation created following the recent incidents of armed attacks and abductions against merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea. The situation has taken an alarming turn for the safety of ships and their crews, and has serious implications for international shipping and for the smooth conduct of international maritime trade in the region.

The recent abduction of crew members of a merchant ship flying the Greek flag, including a Greek seafarer, is strongly condemned and the UGS expresses its deep regret and sympathy to the seafarers’ families and looks forward to their immediate release.

The international shipping community in its entirety has for some time now, and even recently again, drawn the attention of the competent authorities to the problem of armed attacks on merchant ships in this sensitive area of ​​the world and has called on the international community to take appropriate measures to protect seafarers and the maritime trade. Related concerted action by all stakeholders involved is an absolute priority and an urgent need for the substantial and effective response to such illegal incidents as well as the suppression of this unacceptable situation.