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Somali pirates to be returned from Seychelles
Seychellois Minister for Home Affairs, Joel Morgan, has signed "agreements relating to the return of Somali prisoners to their homes to serve the remainder their prison sentences" at the Victoria Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week, the Ministry said in a statement to afrol News.
"This is a very important milestone and a great achievement in our efforts to combat piracy. It is the first such agreement signed with any state which allows for the repatriation of convicted Somali pirates back to their country where they can be close to their families and be imprisoned for the remainder of their sentences," said Minister Morgan.
"The government of Seychelles is fully committed to supporting the state of Somalia and the restoration of law, order and peace... this agreement shows our full commitment to combating piracy," added the Seychellois Minister.
Minister Morgan went on to emphasise that the problem of piracy and of Somalia is a problem "not only for the region," but also for the whole international community. For Seychelles, the expansion of piracy into its national waters has cost millions in lost revenues from fishing and tourism, and in extra transport costs due to insurance for cargo bound for Seychelles.
During the talks held in the Seychellois capital, the three Somali delegations also took the opportunity to visit the Somali prisoners currently incarcerated at the Montagne Posee prison.
The Seychellois coastguard on several occasions has been able to capture Somali pirates or suspected pirates in dramatic operations to liberate vessels seized in its waters. A number of convicted pirates from different parts of Somalia therefore now are imprisoned in Seychelles.
Other groups of suspected pirates, caught in Seychellois waters, however have been allowed to return to Somalia without prosecution. Only in December, a group of suspected Somali pirates was repatriated from Seychelles to Somalia as there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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