UK, US pledge added support to Rappicc


(From l to r) Ms Villarosa, Minister Morgan and Ms Skoll signing the MoU

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed yesterday afternoon by representatives of the United Kingdom and United States of America where they vowed to support and further contribute to the centre’s work. 

The MoU was signed by the British high commissioner Lindsay Skoll and US ambassador Shari Villarosa.

The Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joël Morgan signed on behalf of Seychelles, and speaking to the press afterwards, said other countries are to be brought on board as well.

“This agreement focuses more on the criminality aspect of fighting piracy, as opposed to maritime security. Our partners will help us with the exchange of information as well as other elements in the fight against piracy. The Rappicc is a place where other countries in the region and beyond can work together against international crimes, such as arms dealing, drug trafficking, terrorism, money laundering, and others that have the potential to de-stabilise countries,” he said.

Minister Morgan added that the UK and the US will bring invaluable contributions, such as information and resources, and there will be other countries signing similar agreements soon, as they bring forth their contributions and partnership to the centre.

“With the information, capacity-building, resources and more, we will be able to build dossiers on those we want to bring to justice for committing piracy, such as kingpins. We have already issued four international warrants for the arrests of several people as we want to make them pay for the afflictions our citizens suffered as well as for the losses many have suffered in the maritime and fishing sector,” he said.

Ms Villarosa said her country will benefit from information-sharing, adding that Seychelles has done a magnificent job of prosecuting pirates.
“I am hopeful that Seychelles will be able to bring to justice those responsible for the acts of piracy,” she said.

Ms Skoll said the creation of Rappicc was very essential, since a safe and secured Indian Ocean region is essential to the whole world’s economic prosperity and stability.

“It is in everyone’s interest – no matter where – to see a scourge such as piracy properly dealt with once and for all, and that means a collaborative approach, and we are aiming to bring UK expertise to the centre and build capacity in the region so that the region is able to respond to the Indian Ocean problem in its own ways,” she said.

It is the hope of the two countries that at the London conference on Somalia to be held next week, the newly elected federal government of Somalia can clearly say what their hopes and aspirations are and what their intentions are in relation to the fight against piracy.

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