A $250 million contract has been awarded to US-based private security firm Military Professional Resources Initiative (MPRI), an L-3 Communications company, by the Government of Equatorial Guinea to protect the country's vast aquatic resources, according to Vanguard.
The contract will establish a network of surveillance sites and operation centers at different points along the country's coast to protect against piracy and other maritime concerns that exist in the region.
The Government of Equatorial Guinea recognizes the strategic importance of promoting safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea region -- for stakeholders, multinational oil and gas companies, and surrounding oil producing nations. Over the last two years, 12 attacks have occurred off the coast of West and Central Africa, resulting in abductions, loss of life, and a surmounting threat to the peace and stability of the Gulf of Guinea nations. Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are not on the scale of those in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, but the region is becoming increasingly important because of its energy reserves.
Equatorial Guinea has a number of partnerships with American businesses, and it has a long-standing relationship with MPRI, which they previously contracted to conduct extensive best practice training with the country's police and security forces.
The current contract with MPRI is part of Equatorial Guinea's Maritime Security Enhancement Program and is designed to provide nationwide coastal surveillance coverage and long-term stability for the entire region. It is a part of Equatorial Guinea's commitment to contributing to the positive development of its part of West Africa.
MPRI is set to operate the site for three years, followed by another two years of sustenance and maintenance support.