Danish MoD statement
The Danish Government is seriously concerned about the security situation in the Gulf of Guinea where around 40 percent of all pirate attacks reported worldly takes place. In 2020 alone around 140 seamen were kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Denmark deploys a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea. This is initiated because the maritime security is challenged. Pirates are behind several severe kidnappings in the area. It threatens the security of Danish and foreign crews. In such a situation we cannot and shall not just watch. We must stand up for the right to free navigation. The Danish Navy has previously proved strong and important in the combating of the pirates. However, if we are really going to get the security under control in the Gulf of Guinea an international military presence is necessary. From the Danish side we try to have more countries taking a responsibility,” the Danish Minister of Defence, Trine Bramsen, stated.
The task of the frigate will be to combat the pirates and support and escort the civil shipping in the area. The vessel contribution will be deployed under Danish command in international waters and the attempt will be made to coordinate the tasks of the vessel contribution with these contributions of our allies and partners in the region. To begin with, the contribution is deployed in the region for a period of 5 months from approximately November 2021 to March 2022 inclusive.
The frigate is equipped with a SEAHAWK helicopter and it will be able to deploy special operation forces from the frigate’s naval task force, if necessary. The task force is among other things trained for carrying out rescue operations on hijacked ships.
“The Danish flag waving is a reliable sign of security and safety at sea. Due to the fact that Denmark undertakes the responsibility as a marine nation when the safety and the right to free navigation are threatened. And now we apply sharp measures against the pirates in the Gulf of Guinea both in terms of diplomatic and military contributions. We have also increased our stabilization efforts in the area co-operating with relevant coastal states. It is a matter of contributing to making the countries more able themselves to handle the safety so that we fight the pirate attacks as well as the causes for the pirate actions,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod.
As the world’s fifth largest marine nation Denmark has a special interest in protecting the civil shipping and the right to free navigation. On average, 30-40 Danish operated ships sail through the Gulf of Guinea daily and they transport goods at a value of almost 10 billion DKK (US$1.6 billion) a year. This being one of the reasons why, in January, the Government appointed a special representative for maritime security, Ambassador Jens-Otto Horslund.
Prior to the deploying, the Danish Government is going to motion for a resolution in the Danish Parliament.
For the record, the Gulf of Guinea became a “maritime defense of interest” for the EU in January, with the Council launching the first pilot case of the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) concept.