Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has met with the Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sune Krogstrup, on the reported killing of four pirates in the Gulf of Guinea by a Danish frigate.
The meeting, which held in Abuja, had as top agenda the incident, which took place in international waters 25 to 30 nautical miles south of the Nigerian territorial boundaries.
Dr. Jamoh assured that all stakeholders were interacting, adding that the Agency will continue to do everything within its powers, including collaborations, to ensure the Gulf of Guinea remains a safe place for virile maritime activities.
“Let me assure you that NIMASA is in contact with the Nigerian Navy and relevant actors, as we continue to collaborate towards a total de-confliction, not only in our waters, but also in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
OSAGIE EDWARD, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA said in a statement that the agency ” will update the public with necessary information as the situation unfolds and more facts become available.”
The Danish armed forces had on Thursday reported the killing of the pirates in an exchange of fire.
“No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were shot. Four of the pirates died. One was injured,” the Danish military said.
The incident occurred on Wednesday when the frigate Esbern Snare, which has been patrolling the area since early November, attempted to board the pirate boat.
The Danish forces fired warning shots, and the pirates immediately fired back.
“The Danish soldiers acted in self-defence and returned fire,” the statement said.
It was the first time the frigate opened fire during the current mission to the Gulf of Guinea, the spokesman said.
The remaining four pirates were taken on board the frigate, the military said. After the shooting, the pirate ship sank.
A piracy hotspot stretching 5,700 km (3,540 miles), from Senegal to Angola, the Gulf of Guinea saw 195 attacks in 2020.
The same year, 130 of 135 hostage-takings at sea occurred in the region, according to the International Maritime Office.
The Danish helicopter-equipped frigate and its 175 sailors “are fulfilling an important task by protecting Danish and other commercial vessels in the region”, Defence Minister Trine Bramsen told news agency Ritzau.
Copenhagen in March announced it was sending the vessel to patrol the zone, where some 40 Danish ships operate daily.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and main opposition lawmaker Jakob Elleman had both planned to visit the frigate during a visit to Ghana on Wednesday and Thursday.
Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported on Thursday they had not been on board the frigate during the incident.
The frigate will operate in the gulf until April next year.