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PIRACY

Denmark to go after pirates in west Africa

The Danish Foreign Ministry has announced a new three-year strategy for combatting piracy that will see its efforts move to the coast of Nigeria for the first time.

Denmark on Thursday announced a new strategy for combating piracy and armed robbery on the high seas that will see the nation expand its into the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria.
 
“With this strategy, Denmark will continue to be at the forefront of international efforts to combat piracy. Our activities will continue to focus on the Horn of Africa but as something new we will also carry out a range of activities in the Gulf of Guinea in western Africa where piracy and armed robbery at sea are the source of growing international concern,” Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said in a press release. 
 
The new anti-piracy strategy covers the years 2015-2018 and focuses on areas where Denmark has strategic maritime interests. The main focus of the efforts will continue to be off the coast of Somalia, where pirates cost the global trade industry nearly $7 billion a year, according to Oceans Beyond Piracy..
 
Maritime piracy by Somalians in the Horn of Africa hit its peak in 2011, but has since waned significantly in the face of stepped-up international naval patrols.
 
The new Danish efforts of the coast of Nigeria in western Africa will primarily focus on capacity-building initiatives and cooperation in international maritime security efforts in the region. 
 
“For a maritime nation like Denmark, it is vital that we do what we can to protect shipping and seafarers. With the new strategy, we will delivery military contributions, legal actions and capacity-building to our partners in the affected regions,” Lidegaard said. 

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IMMIGRATION

Danish government left information out of UN response over FGM asylum case

In a response to the UN, the government failed to include information regarding its practice in asylum cases involving female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.

Danish government left information out of UN response over FGM asylum case
An unrelated file photo showing a refugee camp in Somalia. Photo: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh/Ritzau Scanpix

Although the country’s refugee agency Flygtningenævnet, which is part of the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, wished to submit the information, a section relating to FGM was removed, making the response less controversial, according to a report by newspaper Information.

The decision to remove such information was taken by the ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Justice’s section for state and human rights (Stats- og Menneskeretskontor), according to the report.

Information reports that public documents to which it has gained access show correspondence between the refugee agency and justice ministry confirming the decision.

Denmark was in January criticised by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (OHCHR) for refusing asylum to a Somali woman and her infant daughter who risked FGM if they were returned to the northeast African country.

The criticism was not anchored to that specific case, however. OHCHR stated that Denmark was obliged by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to not repeat the practice in similar cases.

In its mandatory response to the UN remarks, the justice ministry removed information about its general practice, Information writes.

The official Danish response also failed to explain why the refugee agency will not review the individual case, why it will not change practice in future and why it does not agree with the OHCHR criticism, legal experts told Information.

The Ministry of Justice did not wish to comment on the issue.

In a written comment, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration told Information that the final submitted response to the UN summarised “which steps the specific case had required the (refugee) agency to take”.

READ ALSO: MPs call for explanation over confidential Denmark-Somalia deal after extortion allegation