Seychelles hails pro-active actions in anti-piracy fight


19-January-2012

The minister also hailed the efforts of several other forces that have been engaged in pro-active and robust action against pirate vessels in line with the appeal made by President James Michel to world leaders recently.

Following a round of successful military interventions just off the coast of Somalia that resulted in the capture of numerous suspected pirates, Minister Adam praised the effective and coordinated efforts of international partners as a crucial element in the fight against piracy.

“These pro-active operations have made a significant dent in the number of pirate vessels operating in the Indian Ocean and show that improved coordination and a more robust approach to disrupting piracy is improving the overall response. There are still many challenges – not least the regional capacity to prosecute, detain and transfer prisoners – but these successful operations are a step in the right direction,” said the minister.

“This increased engagement is also a reflection of the seriousness of the problem and follows the recent appeals by President Michel to world leaders for increased engagement,” he added.

Minister Adam also congratulated the naval forces and governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain who also recently captured suspected Somali pirates targeting vessels in the Somali region.

“The range of international partners we are working with shows that the problem of piracy is truly a global one, from which no country is exempt. We hope that our partners and countries in the region will be able to continue working together to ensure that these captured pirates are brought to justice,” said Mr Adam.

Based on the geographical parameters of existing prisoner transfer agreements in place, the Seychelles Government has in this instance been unable to accept transfer for prosecution of the captured suspected pirates as they were detained outside the designated zones in the agreements that Seychelles has with its partners.

Minister Adam has said that the need for other partners to engage in the prosecution of pirates as well as address durable solutions on the ground in Somalia is clear.

It is to be noted that Seychelles is currently holding 76 pirates in its prisons and has already conducted successful trials on a number of cases.

“Seychelles takes its responsibilities in protecting the region very seriously and we are currently holding over 70 pirates who represent a large percentage of our total prison population and a substantial burden on our prosecution capacities. We welcome all initiatives to hasten the establishment of UN standard prisons in Somalia so we may begin the process of transferring the prisoners to serve their sentences in Somalia,” said the minister.

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