The Minister of Justice for the Puntland region of Somalia has expressed his appreciation of the way the island nation of Seychelles is contributing to the international effort to rid the waters of East Africa of piracy.
Abdikilif Sheik Hassan, from the semi-autonomous region of Puntland issued this statement when recently visiting with Joel Morgan, the Minister for Home Affairs and Transport for Seychelles.
Seychelles has taken a lead role in detaining captured Somali pirates. The majority of prisoners in the nation’s jails are reportedly Somali pirates. The occasion marked the transfer of 25 Somali pirates back to Puntland, which took place on three separate flights over three days.
After inspecting the prisoners prior to departure, Hassan remarked that they were in good condition thanks to a “very good” prison system in Seychelles. Minister Morgan returned his thanks for Puntland accepting the prisoners, who would be transferred to Bossaso Prison in Bossaso. This is the first transfer of convicted pirates back to Somalia, who were originally transferred to Seychelles after being captured by the European Union Naval Force.
Seychelles has received help from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime counter-piracy program to extend their prison capacity, in exchange for agreeing to detain the prisoners. These 25 prisoners will serve the remainder of their sentences in Puntland, with more to be transferred back to Somalia in the coming months.
There are still 63 Somali prisoners in the Seychelles’ Montagn Posee prison, who will soon be joined by nine recently captured pirates, bringing the total to 72 being held in the country.