Navies versus Coast Guards: Defining the Roles of African Maritime Security Forces [open pdf - 421KB]
"In February 2008, the Nigerian Trawler Own¬ers' Association (NTOA) called in its fishing vessels and refused to go to sea. The previous year had been a tough one. A reported 107 armed robberies had reduced the fishing fleet from 250 trawlers in 2003 to 170 by the end of 2007. January 2008 started off even worse, as NTOA ships suffered another 50 at¬tacks and 10 murders in that month alone. Well documented among NTOA's numerous complaints was that when an attack occurred, there was nobody to call for help. A variety of recommendations by NTOA have evolved into a campaign to convince the govern¬ment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to establish a coast guard. The main argument is that the Nigerian navy--one of the most sophisticated navies in Africa, with a demonstrated capability to sail to Europe and South America--is not designed to combat maritime armed robbery and piracy. It is essentially a blue water navy, one that was capable of shelling rebel forces in Sierra Leone in the 1990s but is powerless to deal with local crime."
Africa Security Brief No. 2
Africa Center for Strategic Studies: http://africacenter.org/