Seychellois fishermen held hostage in Somalia


Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy Minister Joel Morgan told Nation yesterday as we went to the press that no demand had been made by the Somali captors, whose possession of the boat was confirmed through pictures sent to Mahe from the surveillance plane.

The boat was seen anchored at the 12,000 population port town of Hobyo.

Mr Morgan said the Seychellois negotiating team is ready to begin talks with the captors, who had nevertheless not made contact with Seychelles as of noon yesterday.

Mr Morgan – who heads the High Level Committee on Piracy – said it was still too early to release names of the Seychellois hostages “as the government and the family members have not yet agreed to do so.”

He said it was odd and not in line with their usual way of operation for Somali pirates to seize a small boat like Aride.

He discounted rumours that one of the Seychelles Coast Guard’s vessels, Andromache, had been attacked and disabled by pirates, adding everybody on the boat was safe and its equipment in order and it was on Exclusive Economic Zone patrol.

“Our boats are well equipped and armed to dispel attacks from pirates,” he said.

He said he had already briefed President James Michel about the situation and informed Chief of Defence Forces of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet about the situation.

Mr Morgan also said the crew of a Taiwanese boat that had been seized by pirates on Thursday overcame the buccaneers and requested Seychelles’ help, after which the armed boat Topaz was sent to help and the boat’s crew are expected in port Victoria tomorrow morning.

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