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Pirate Trials Go Exclusive

Seychelles steps up anti-piracy efforts

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  May 25, 2010

Information was received during the week that the Seychelles government is in the process of establishing a separate chamber in its court system to exclusively deal with pirate trials, supported by friendly nations participating in the naval operations off the target="_blank">Horn of Africa and across the expanses of the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles is presently the only country to accept recently-caught ocean terrorists, after Kenya decided to stop putting them on trial, maybe also motivated by the vicinity to the Somali borders across which hostile Islamic militants are only waiting for a chance to spread their hellish gospel into neighboring countries.

In the Seychelles, however, there is political will and determination to deal with the problem, and when an additional patrol boat comes online for the country’s coast guard, provided by the UK government, it will be deployed along the northern approaches to the archipelago.

Discussions between members of the naval coalition, the Seychelles, and the African Union-backed transitional government in Somalia are also ongoing, trying to have Somalis caught at sea serve their sentences in Somali jails, in view of the rather too limited places currently available on the islands.

In the past, the Seychelles made determined efforts to combat ocean terrorism, even with their limited resources, since the menace potentially affects the two mainstay economic activities - fishing and tourism - and have, in conjunction with the naval coalition, caught increasing numbers of often hapless Somalis at sea, who several times in their ignorance even tried to attack navy vessels. Ignorance and stupidity, however, being no excuse, they, too, are facing trial and long prison terms, as they are charged with both piracy-related crimes and terrorism.

Seychelles steps up anti-piracy efforts
Suspected Somali pirates inside a court of law in Mombasa / Image via

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