Minister Morgan refutes Today article about piracy issues


16-November-2011

Based on an interview with Roy Fonseka on his views on the government’s decision to bring in Ghurkhas to help the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF), the article states that the government is being held hostage and that the handling of this situation is nothing short of panic.

Minister Morgan reiterates that Seychelles as a nation is guided by a decisive government that has led the way internationally in responding to the global threat of piracy and that no other nation within the region has been as proactive as Seychelles in the fight against this scourge.

Seychelles has furthermore proven itself as a leader in this fight by taking the lead internationally in drafting and implementing anti-piracy laws and few nations are as advanced as Seychelles is in this area. The necessary infrastructure has also been put in place to complement this legislation, proving that the strategy of the government is one that is planned and executed in a managed and controlled manner. The international community has yet to formulate and implement a strategy designed to eradicate the scourge of piracy.

The article also stipulates that Minister Morgan is over-simplifying the piracy situation and that the Seychelles government tends to favour foreign advisors, who lack foresight.

Minister Morgan said it is the view of the government that many of the statements made in the article are not only incorrect but also demonstrate a complete a lack of understanding of the piracy situation and of the international process Seychelles has spearheaded.

He points out that Seychelles has secured advice and support from numerous and varied international advisors from nations interested in the piracy problem and that Seychelles has not only benefited from international advice but also from the wealth of knowledge and experience of its own national advisors.

Minister Morgan also pointed out that Seychelles has a proven track record which demonstrates its ability and capacity in dealing with the piracy issue. He emphasised the successful recovery and rescue of two groups of Seychellois hostages held in Somalia by pirates through a process of extended negotiations led by the high level committee on piracy as well as the three cases where the SPDF successfully recovered Seychellois fishermen and sailors who had been taken hostage at sea by Somali pirates.

He also notes the high number of successful convictions in our courts for the pirates captured by our armed forces.

With reference to Mr Fonseka’s comments regarding hiring private companies and individuals to provide armed security services locally, the minister states that the government has a policy of non-proliferation of small arms outside of the police and the armed forces within our country, for reasons of national security.

The minister reiterates that the primary interest of the government in dealing with the piracy problem is to protect its citizens and its economy and that the government of Seychelles and its security forces have demonstrated in action their competency in dealing with complexed situations, both in hostage release and in active duty at sea.

“Our record speaks for itself and a number of people owe their lives to the professionalism demonstrated by the government and our armed forces,” said the minister.  

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