On March 25, 2023, the Monjasa Reformer, a Danish-owned oil and chemicals tanker, was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. This area is considered to be one of the most dangerous shipping routes in the world due to the high incidence of piracy and other security risks. The ship was found abandoned later, but some of the crew members are still missing.
According to Monjasa, pirates boarded the ship and took some crew members with them, while others were brought to safety. The exact number of crew members who were taken is unclear, but reports suggest that it could be between six to ten individuals. The identities of the kidnapped crew members have not been disclosed.
The French navy later located the Reformer off the coast of Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea. The rescued crew members were reportedly in good health, and no damage was reported to the ship or its cargo. However, there is still no news on the fate of the missing crew members.
Denmark has significant commercial shipping interests in the Gulf of Guinea and had deployed a frigate to the region in 2021 to protect its shipping. However, the ship was pulled back last year after the outbreak of the Ukraine war. The Danish government has not yet commented on whether they plan to increase their presence in the region in response to the recent hijacking.
Piracy has been a major problem in the Gulf of Guinea for many years, with attacks becoming increasingly violent and frequent in recent years. However, since 2021, piracy cases have been on the decline due to increased cooperation among countries in the region and the deployment of foreign naval ships. The United Nations Security Council has acknowledged these efforts and has called for continued international cooperation to address the problem.
The recent hijacking of the Monjasa Reformer is a reminder that the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is still very real and that more needs to be done to ensure the safety and security of ships and crew members in the region. The international community must continue to work together to combat piracy and other security threats in the Gulf of Guinea and other areas of the world where maritime security is at risk.