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African nations hail maritime deal

A French Navy helicopter chases a boat carrying suspected Somali pirates as part of an anti-piracy naval mission on May 3, 2009African leaders on Saturday signed a deal to boost security off the continent’s economically crucial coasts, hoping to shore up development by tackling maritime crimes like piracy and smuggling. Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso hailed the African Union agreement as “historic”, while Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said it showed Africa’s ability to put together a continent-wide strategy. Sassou Nguesso said 43 nations had adopted the binding agreement — which will see countries pay into a special fund for maritime security — at a summit in Togo’s capital Lome.

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