'Worst Prepared': Denmark's Solo Mission Against Piracy Off the Coast of Africa Meets Criticism

© AFP 2022 / MADS CLAUS RASMUSSENDanish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen (C) addresses a press conference with Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Jeppe Kofoed (L) and Danske Rederier CEO Anne H. Steffensen in Copenhagen on March 16, 2021 to inform that Denmark will deploy a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa to combat piracy, days after a Dutch vessel was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea
Danish Defence Minister Trine Bramsen (C) addresses a press conference with  Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Jeppe Kofoed (L) and Danske Rederier CEO Anne H. Steffensen in Copenhagen on March 16, 2021 to inform that Denmark will deploy a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea off West Africa to combat piracy, days after a Dutch vessel was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.10.2021
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While describing Denmark as a "large and proud maritime nation", Defence Minister Trine Bramsen emphasised that the mission in the Gulf of Guinea is purely deterrent in nature and is not meant to capture pirates.
The Danish frigate "Esbern Snare" has been sent on a mission to deter pirates off the coast of West Africa.
The Danish media broadly described the Gulf of Guinea, where 40 percent of global pirate attacks occur, as "the world's most dangerous bay". Danish Shipping CEO Anne Steffensen portrayed the Gulf of Guinea as a "hotspot for violent attacks" and "the most dangerous place to sail".
A broad majority in the Danish Parliament threw its weight behind the mission, which, according to Defence Minister Trine Bramsen sends a "clear signal".

"Our crew and frigate are not meant to capture the pirates. It's a deterrent mission. And we know that the presence of warships in the area is quite important for putting a damper on the pirates' activities", Trine Bramsen said, as quoted by TV2. "We are a relatively small country, but we are a large and proud maritime nation", she added.

However, the solo mission consisting of a single ship accompanied by a helicopter, raised questions about its efficiency. Among others, the military outlet Olfi unleashed sharp criticism of the endeavour.

"It seems like the worst prepared mission that Danish soldiers have been sent on, for a very, very long time", Olfi Editor-in-Chief Peter Ernstved Rasmussen told TV2.

While the nation's military described the mission as a "purely Danish operation", Defence Minister Trine Bramsen, underscored "close coordination and cooperation", citing the presence of allies in the area, including the US, France, and the UK.
The Gulf of Guinea has been plagued by piracy for years. A whopping 95 percent of all kidnappings at sea in 2020 occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.
Most recently, the Russian anti-submarine ship "Vice-Admiral Kulakov" thwarted a piracy attack on the Panama-flagged container ship "MSC Lucia" in the Gulf of Guinea, which was en route from Togo to Cameroon.
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