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Cameroon government plans summit to address piracy issues

June 25, 2013

The threat of pirate attacks has become an ongoing security issue for a number of African nations in recent years, including Cameroon. As such, Cameroon President Paul Biya and the leaders of 24 other countries within Central and West Africa, are meeting in Yaounde, the nation's capital, to discuss strategies for dealing with piracy and other, similar issues. This contentious topic may be the subject of numerous conversations conducted using a prepaid phone card.

According to The Associated Press, pirates operating in West African waters cost the affected countries approximately $950 million, and the attacks are becoming even more frequent than in Somalia, where the issue of modern piracy made global headlines several years ago. Additionally, the region's Gulf of Guinea has also become a hotspot for drug trafficking. Approximately 18 tons of Latin American cocaine - worth about $1.25 billion - passed through those waters during 2010, on its way to Europe.

Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon's Communications Minister, spoke about the gravity of the situation. "This alarming insecurity could ... become a source of instability and an obstacle to development," he told the news source. 

The Angola Press reports that in his address to members of the Economic Community of Central African States, Economic Community of West African States and Guinea Gulf Commission, President Biya asked his audience, "How can there be development in our country if our waters become dangerous places to free circulation of people and goods?"

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