Earlier today, during a meeting held at the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs where several piracy-related issues were discussed, it was announced that Puntland will accept the transfer of all convicted Somali pirates held in Seychelles.
Visiting the head of prisons and police in Puntland, Somalia, Mr. Ali Noor, has assured the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Jean-Paul Adam that these transfers will be accommodated upon the completion of another United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) funded prison facility in Puntland.
The two countries have also agreed to a joint commitment in creating more awareness in the international community of the on-going fight against piracy and the need to develop other means of gainful employment for Somalis.
“Seychelles is committed to lobbying for greater action and support from the international community, because we realize that fighting piracy at sea is not enough. We need to do more,” said the Minister.
Minister Adam said that Seychelles was committed to supporting the strengthening of Somalia and that the government would support the authorities in establishing other models of development that do not rely on piracy, such as agriculture and fishing, among other sectors.
Mr. Noor said that the Puntland authorities have sent out a message to the international community calling for the end of ransom payments to pirates, because the practice was enabling and funding further piracy in the region.
This meeting, facilitated by the UNODC, follows on from a high-level conference on piracy, “Global Challenge, Regional Responses: Forging a common approach to maritime piracy,” held in Dubai, UAE, in April, where the Minister for Home Affairs Mr. Joel Morgan signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements on the transfer of all convicted Somali pirates with both Puntland and Somaliland authorities.
Minister Adam said that despite unconfirmed speculations of divisions within Somaliland, which are allegedly questioning the MoUs signed in Dubai, the Seychelles government remains dedicated to working with anyone and everyone willing to work with Seychelles to bring an end to piracy in the Indian Ocean region.