The Royal Danish Navy announced the move to deploy a frigate to counter piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
COPENHAGEN — The Danish Ministry of Defense announced that it would deploy a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea to defend civil shipping and the movement of people and goods off Africa’s western coast. According to a press statement, the order will be implemented in the fall of 2021 and will be co-managed between the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Trine Bramsen, the Danish Minister of Defense, said that “to get serious about managing security in the Gulf of Guinea, an international military presence is necessary.” “We are working for more countries to assume a responsibility,” said Minister Bramsen.
Ghana and the United States currently have deployed their naval resources to the Gulf of Guinea. Both countries are currently coordinating with Western and Central African Navies and Euro-Atlantic countries to conduct an exercise and a coordinated show of force from March 14 to the end of the month.
Copenhagen-based Maersk, the world’s largest container ship line, called for multinational naval intervention to protect vessels from ongoing piracy in the Gulf. The Royal Danish Navy will operate its vessel to protect further and prove its anti-piracy capabilities.
“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 Jeppe Kofod, the foreign minister, in the same press release as Bramsen’s comments.
The Ministry of Defense says that Denmark has a special interest in protecting shipping through the Gulf. On average, the ministry adds, thirty to forty Danish operated ships — many being owned and operated by A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S — transit through the Gulf of Guinea daily. The transport of these goods is valued at about DKK 10 billion per year.
Jens-Otto Horslund, the current ambassador of Denmark to The Netherlands, was appointed as the Kingdom of Denmark’s special representative for maritime security in January of this year, notes another statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Denmark is also a member of the US-dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organization and follows the organization’s mutual defense commitments.