Seychelles gets new defence school from UAE


28-July-2012

Brigadier Leopold Payet and the UAE’s chief of naval staff Major General Ibrahim Almushrakh after they had unveiled the commemorative plaque to mark the inauguration of the new academy

The highlight of the handover ceremony was the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by chief of defence forces Brigadier Leopold Payet and the UAE’s chief of naval staff Major General Ibrahim Almushrakh.

The event was attended by among others the speaker of the National assembly Dr Patrick Herminie, ministers, members of the National Assembly and of the diplomatic corps.

Army chaplain Major Louis Agathine and Imam Ibrahim Lebon prayed for the new school before Colonel Dr Col Saeed Alzaabi guided the guests around the new facility.

SDA commander Major Simon Dine said the new school has four main classrooms which can take 85 students, a 100-capacity auditorium and a computer room with 11 PCs.

The centre has no students’ sleeping accommodation yet but these will be built, he said.
Major General Almushrakh said he was happy to see UAE’s close relationship with Seychelles, adding his countries values the chance to help its friends.

Guests touring the academy’s facilities

He said the naval assets his country gives will be run by Seychellois and the UAE will continue to support efforts towards realising that goal.

He expressed confidence that his country’s efforts will support Seychelles’ economy and growth for example by warding off pirates.

“The UAE is willing and ready to cooperate in all kinds of maritime security operations,” he said.

Brigadier Payet said the school is a generous and well-appreciated gift from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE.

He said the opening of the new school is an important milestone in the history of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF).

“In the emerging security environment, Seychelles dependence on the sea will increase in terms of trade, energy resources, shipping, sustainable exploitation of natural resources and ocean research and exploitation,” he said.

He noted, however, that transport routes will be increasingly vulnerable to disruptions by a range of criminal activities such as piracy, maritime terrorism, illegal fishing and pollution, so we must be prepared to face any eventuality which may arise and ensure Seychelles remains a safe and stable country in the region.

He thanked President James Michel – who is the commander in chief of the Seychelles armed forces – for his vision, inspiration and influence in getting the new school buildings.

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