Monday, February 27, 2012

Seychelles And Somaliland Take Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers

Seychelles And Somaliland Take Steps Towards Prisoner Transfers London, UK, February 25, 2012 – Seychelles President James Michel and President Ahmed Mohamed Sillanyo of the Republic of Somaliland have discussed, in a meeting in London on Wednesday, the transfer of convicted Somali pirates currently in prison in Seychelles, to Somaliland to serve their sentences. The meeting was attended by the British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham; Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Joel Morgan; Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam; the British high commissioner to Seychelles, Matthew Forbes; the Somaliland Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamed Abdillahi Omar; as well as the UNODC counter-piracy programme coordinator Alan Cole. The two leaders signed a joint statement to recognize their joint concern about the serious impact piracy has on the region and on international security, and agreed that it is vital to ensure pirates are brought to justice. President Sillanyo confirmed that both the council of ministers and Somaliland parliament had now approved and passed the piracy and prisoner transfer legislation to allow the transfer of convicted pirates. “This commitment between the Seychelles and Somaliland represents an important step forward in the development of a sustainable regional justice mechanism, that will see suspected pirates apprehended by naval forces at sea, prosecuted by regional states, and if convicted, imprisoned in the region,” said the statement from the two leaders. President Michel and President Sillanyo have also committed to securing the first transfer of 19 convicted pirates from Seychelles to Somaliland by the end of March 2012, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding agreed between the Republic of Somaliland and the government of Seychelles, and based on Somaliland’s prison capacity in dealing with pirate transfers. “Somaliland is an important partner in the fight against piracy as it remains a pirate-free area of stability. We commend the Somaliland government for achieving this stability and for its efforts to share the burden of incarcerating the pirates,” said President Michel following the meeting. Source: Seychelles Nation

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