Nigeria wants to prosecute Danish forces that were involved in the exchange of fire with alleged pirates in the Gulf of Guinea in November 2021. The African country also demands the release of a citizen that is being tried in Denmark after a fatal firefight.
n November 2021, the Danish naval patrol “Esbern Snare” killed four pirates in an exchange of fire in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria. No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were shot. Four of the pirates died and one was injured.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had then told a news conference that the soldiers’ intervention had “probably prevented concrete pirate attacks against vessels in the region.”
However, not long after the incident, the Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA) raised concerns:
The Association supports all efforts to rid the Gulf of Guinea of piracy, maritime offences and all forms of criminality. It is concerned, however, about the sanctity of Nigeria’s sovereignty, application of the rule of law and respect for protocols of engagement with regard to the instant incident, which is alleged to have occurred in international waters, 25 to 30 nautical miles south of Nigeria’s territorial waters, and the emerging security regime in the Gulf of Guinea
Now, the trial of a presumed pirate, who lost his leg in the incident, is taking place in the Copenhagen, with Nigeria demanding that he is handed over.
Denmark is aware of Nigeria’s demand to have the presumed pirate released, but will not disclose any details of the conversations between the two countries.
Speaking to Danish media, Barrister at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nicholas Ella, said on behalf of Nigeria that the country demands that “Denmark release the remaining Nigerian in Danish custody. We demand an apology from Denmark to Nigeria for the frigate’s conduct. Moreover, we demand that Danish fleet personnel involved in the killings of Nigerians be prosecuted.”
The Nigerian diplomat also doubted that the events took place as told by Denmark.