The government of the United Arab Emirates has signed an agreement with the government of Seychelles to fund the construction of a new Seychelles Coast Guard base on Ile Perseverance, in a project worth US$15 million.
The new Coast Guard base will be equipped with a coastal radar system and radio communications equipment, which will be backed up by radars positioned over several islands.
The UAE has also pledged 2 patrol boats and 3 fast patrol boats, as well as one helicopter to the Seychelles Coast Guard.
“Seychelles will be better equipped to fight pirates, and the new radar surveillance system will ensure the safe passage of fishermen and other maritime traffic. We will be more capable in the detection of pirate skiffs, and our readiness to respond will be amplified,” said President James Michel, in his capacity as the Minister for Defense.
Discussions for the Seychelles-UAE anti-piracy cooperation took place in June this year when President Michel undertook a working visit to Abu Dhabi. During the visit the UAE agreed to help Seychelles with facilities and equipment to combat pirate attacks and to give assistance with surveillance equipment for the Coast Guard operations. Seychelles and the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation in December 2009.
“We are deeply grateful to the people and the government of the UAE for this significant donation to the Seychelles Coast Guard. The ties of friendship between our two countries are continuing to increase in many areas of cooperation. The new Coast Guard base will make a considerable difference in our fight against piracy.”
The Coast Guard base will house the Coast Guard Headquarters, as all the necessary operating facilities.
The construction of the base will be completed by UAE company, and will also involve Seychellois construction manpower and materials. The construction will be jointly overseen by an engineer of the UAE navy and officers of the SPDF and Coast Guard.
The new base is expected to be operational in 10 months time.