Denmark to help hunt pirates in western Africa

Denmark enters into new initiative to help repeat their success in the east

Denmark has entered into an initiative to help fight piracy in western Africa, as attacks off its coast continue to pose a serious threat to Danish shipping. The initiative will focus its efforts on piracy hunting in the Gulf of Guinea, particularly off the coasts of Nigeria and Ghana.

READ MORE: West African pirates costing Maersk dearly

Torben Gettermann, the Danish ambassador to Nigeria, contends that the strategy is part of Denmark strengthening its national efforts in western Africa.

“Denmark has some experience in fighting piracy, which may prove beneficial to Nigeria,” he told DR.

Legal aid and education
There has been much discussion over exactly how Denmark can contribute.

“Right now, it looks like we can contribute to the legal side – how to deal with the pirates after they are captured. They have to be examined, recorded, and swiftly brought to justice,” explained Gettermann.

In addition, Denmark will also train local officials to lead the effort, including officers involved in patrolling the waters and capturing the pirates.

Patrolling new waters
This is not the first time Denmark has contributed to the fight against piracy in African waters, having successfully fought pirates in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia in eastern Africa for over four years.

Two Danish warships, Absalon and Esben Snare, played a large role in reducing the number of attacks from 172 in 2010 to as few as three in 2014, according to the International Maritime Organisation.

Recent success in the Gulf of Aden has inspired Denmark to shift its focus to western Africa, where there continue to be a number of attacks. However, this region presents a significantly different task compared to Somalia.

“It is a much more complicated task. We must take into account the interests of the individual countries, as well as the regional interests and interests of partner organisations in the area,” said Gettermann.

“This means that Denmark cannot take action until it is agreed and accepted by the local authorities.”

 

 

 



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