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Regional maritime security: UK warship arrives Nigeria

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Monday, September 11th, 2023
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A ROYAL Navy warship, HMS Trent, yesterday arrived Lagos as part of its regional mission to aid allies and partners in driving down illegal activities, including piracy and illicit trafficking.

The visit, its second to the country, will help deliver capacity training and support maritime security in the region.

HMS Trent departed Gibraltar, carrying an expert boarding team of UK Royal Marines and a Puma surveillance drone.

Its mission is to support West African allies helping countries to develop capability to fight illegal crimes at sea and ensure they can play an effective role in bringing stability to wider West Africa.

With around £6 billion of UK trade passing through the region, part of Trent’s tasking is to support stability across the Gulf of Guinea through training, to help partner navies take the fight to criminal actors, foster ties and share knowledge, while conducting patrols to increase security.

HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Tim Langford, said:  “It is an honour for HMS Trent to return to Nigeria, an important visit on the ship’s three month deployment to West Africa.

”We are excited to work with our partner nations as we strive for a long-term solution to maritime insecurity across the region.

“The Royal Navy has a long history of engagement within the region and an enduring partnership with the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

”My team is really looking forward to the opportunity to work with their Nigerian counterparts and build on the relationships established when we visited Lagos in 2021.”

In his remarks, UK Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Jonny Baxter, said:  “This deployment demonstrates how a truly global Britain is stepping up on the world stage to tackle shared international security challenges.

“Nigeria is an important and valued defence partner for the UK in West Africa. Our two countries face many shared threats and we are keen to work with Nigeria to defeat these and to help improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.”

The deployment contributes to a wider international effort by the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, FOGG, which supports Gulf of Guinea nations to implement regional maritime security frameworks, bringing stability to a region that has seen international shipping disrupted, seafarers’ lives put in danger, and damage caused to local economies.

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