Press release

VP Meriton thanked CGPCS Chair for supporting Seychelles in condemning the premature release of 19 Somali pirates, 2 August 2019

August 3, 2019

Vice President Vincent Meriton as Chair of the IOC Council of Ministers seized the opportunity by the end of the first day of the IOC Ministerial retreat held in Comoros, to convey Seychelles’ appreciation to the Honourable Nandcoomar Bodha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius and current Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) for having responded positively and quicky to the call of support from Seychelles by expressing his strong opposition to this unilateral decision through a communique released yesterday to the International Community. 

Vice President informed the Ministers of the four IOC Member States (Comoros, France, Madagascar and Mauritius)  that this unilateral decision by the Somaliland authorities to release 19 convicted Somali pirates that were sentenced by Seychelles in 2012, not only compromises their bilateral arrangements on repatriation of such individuals to continue serving their sentence but also breaches the decision adopted in Mauritius by the CGPCS community at the 22nd Plenary session held on the 20 June 2019.

The CGPCS communique stated that this act by Somaliland authorities contravenes the decision taken at the 22nd CGPCS Plenary session that called for the “strict observance of the Transfer Agreement” and that it “unequivocally breaches the Memorandum of Understanding on transfer of sentenced pirates with the Republic of Seychelles”.  It further states that “the CGPCS calls for all pirates to serve their full term unless otherwise agreed upon by all concerned parties”.

Minister Bodha reiterated to the participants at the Ministerial Retreat that such decision seriously undermines the collective action taken over the past ten years by the international community and that he fully supports Seychelles, being an active CGCPS member, in condemning this early release of pirates.

Minister Bodha also gave his reassurance and commitment to Vice President Meriton that as Chair of the CGPCS, he will bring the matter to the urgent attention of the United Nations Secretary General and the United Nations Security Council.