Govt steps up efforts to secure release of Seychellois hostages


Minister Morgan during his meeting in Nairobi with President Sharif Ahmed

Minister Joel Morgan, chairman of the high-level committee on piracy accompanied by a Seychellois delegation, on Friday met the President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, his Minister for the Interior and his Ambassador for Kenya.

Among the Seychellois delegation at the meeting, held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, were Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, representing Foreign Affairs and Chief Superintendent of Police, Godfra Hermitte.

The meeting was sought by the government of Seychelles as efforts continue to keep up the pressure on the TFG (of Somalia) to secure the release of the two Seychellois hostages.

While thanking President Sharif for the undertaking to intervene in the efforts for the release of the hostages, Mr Morgan noted that the long detention of the two elderly and sick Seychellois being kept in inhumane conditions without proper medication remains an issue of grave concern to both the government and the families of the hostages.

The minister echoed the appeal made by President James Michel for President Sharif to intervene for their release as the continued unlawful detention is depriving the families of the hostages of their livelihood.

Minister Morgan conveyed greetings from President Michel and he further expressed the undertaking that Seychelles will support Somalia on the delicate road to constitutional democracy and offered the government’s best wishes in the forthcoming elections.

Minister Morgan also informed President Sharif of the two juvenile Somali pirates, aged 12 and 11, being held in Seychelles, and of the efforts being made for their repatriation.

It was confirmed that all the 103 pirates being held in incarceration in Seychelles were being properly treated according to international conventions, but that Seychelles were looking forward to their transfer once the prison facilities are completed in Somalia.

President Sharif on his part expressed his appreciation for the meeting and dialogue, and was also quick to express his sorrow over the plight of the hostages, which he said a lot of efforts are being made to secure their release.

He has urged the pirates to release all hostages in captivity and reiterated his commitment to assist in the release of Messrs Songoire and Tambara.

His position was that they are also currently working with the elders who exert important spheres of influence in the communities and to also engage the pirates and invite them to work with the legitimate government of Somalia so that they would give up the criminal activities and join in nation building.