Seychelles and Somalia in talks over hostages’ release


04-June-2012

Minister Morgan during talks with the Somali delegation

The repatriation of the already sentenced Somali pirates who are actually held at the Montagne Posée prison was also discussed.

A high level delegation from the State of Puntland, Somalia, was in the country to discuss areas of cooperation in the field of maritime security and the fight against piracy.

The delegation – comprising the Minister for Maritime Transport and Counter-Piracy, Said Mohamed Rage and Police and Prisons Commissioner Ali Nour – met the Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, who is also the chairman of the High-level Committee on Piracy (HLCP), on Monday last week.

The delegation from the State of Puntland was also accompanied by two officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Shamus Mangan and Mr Abdirizak Jama, who were both acting as the facilitator.

A communiqué from Minister Morgan’s office said that Minister Rage has given his assurances that the Puntland authorities will do its utmost to help release our two compatriots and that they will continue to cooperate closely with the High-level Committee on Piracy as it is clear that both sides wish to see the negotiation process accelerated. 

“We will do our best,” expressed Minister Rage.
The two ministers also discussed how they could ease the repatriation of the already sentenced Somali pirates who are actually held at the Montagne Posée prison.

Minister Rage confirmed that priority will be given to Seychelles for the transfer of pirates to take place, since Seychelles is the first country in the region to have a transfer of sentenced pirates agreement with Puntland.

However, he stated that this will only be done upon final completion of their two new prisons in Bossasso and Garawe with the support of the UNODC counter-piracy programme.

In response to this statement, Minister Morgan said that Seychelles is willing to firmly support the authorities of the State of Puntland in their counter-piracy initiatives and efforts. 

“Seychelles will use its position to put pressure on the international community, in particular the UNODC, to develop further the capacity of prisons of Puntland,” Minister Morgan said.

The HLCP chairman also told the Somali delegation that the government of Seychelles has taken due note their requests for assistance (i.e: fisheries and prisons management training) and that it will do its very best to assist them in this respect.

There are currently 103 Somali pirates held at the Montagne Posée prison with the majority being originally from Puntland.

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