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US warship arrives in Nigeria for anti-piracy operation

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, the first warship permanently assigned to Africa, arrived in Lagos on Saturday as part of…

The USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, the first warship permanently assigned to Africa, arrived in Lagos on Saturday as part of the U.S. government’s support to combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.The U.S. Consul General in Lagos, Claire Pierangelo, told journalists in Lagos that “Ship visits like this one clearly demonstrate the U.S.’s continued dedication to our partners in the Gulf of Guinea as they strive for the security of their resources, their economy, and their people.”

According to US official, Nigeria and other countries in West Africa lose about 800,000 tonnes of fish a year worth about $2 billion in gross revenue to illegal activities by both foreign and domestic vessels.

“This removes vast seafood protein from the region. Nigerian waters are at the centre of the Gulf of Guinea, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Senegal to Angola,” ,” Nigeria’s local publication, Ships and Ports reports on Monday quoted Pierangelo as saying on Saturday.

 “We’re here to train and work with the Nigerian Navy on anti-piracy, tactics, techniques, and procedures,” Hershel “Woody” Williams Captain Chad Graham said.

The U.S. investments and donations to the Nigerian military are worth more than $559 million, part of which is the naval coast guard transfers renamed NNS Okpabana and NNS Thunder.

The COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions led to a surge in piracy levels, though that slowed this year and is expected to ease further as economies pick up, Graham said.

The Gulf of Guinea is regarded as the most dangerous part of the world for sailors, accounting for almost all kidnappings at sea in recent years.

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