Somali pirates caught at sea, transferred to Seychelles

File: An armed Somali pirate is seen in northeastern Somalia. (AFP)
Updated 23 November 2017
0

Somali pirates caught at sea, transferred to Seychelles

VICTORY: Six suspected Somali pirates have been transferred to the Seychelles following their arrest for attacks earlier this month off southern Somalia, a Seychelles prisons official said Thursday.
The suspects arrived Thursday morning at the port of Victoria, capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation, said Raymond St. Ange, acting commissioner of Montagne Posee prison.
The six were arrested by the Italian navy, deployed as part of the European anti-piracy operation Atlanta, after being spotted by a military helicopter while attacking a container ship and a fishing vessel on Nov. 17 and 18.
The men were transferred to the Seychelles under an agreement with the EU. “The agreement allows us to prosecute cases of piracy, but the prosecution will depend on the evidence presented to the attorney general,” St. Ange said.
There have been several attempted hijackings in recent months, a worrying sign of a possible resurgence of Somali piracy which had declined from its 2011 peak as navy patrols were stepped up.
The years-long scourge disrupted international shipping and led to the kidnapping for ransom of many hundreds of seafarers.
While warships and armed guards have reduced the number of attacks, they have done nothing to address the root causes of piracy, which lie in Somalia’s decades of state failure, poverty and lack of economic opportunity.
The last similar transfer of suspects to the Seychelles was in 2014.


Saudi Arabia pledges $100m to help ‘stabilize’ Syria’s northeast

Updated 7 min 21 sec ago
0

Saudi Arabia pledges $100m to help ‘stabilize’ Syria’s northeast

  • United States, which leads the anti-Daesh coalition, expressed its  thanks for the funds
  • The money will help ensure the militants cannot re-emerge as a threat

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has contributed $100 million to help reconstruct areas of north-eastern Syria formerly held by Daesh.

The Kingdom said the contribution would go toward a campaign by the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to “stabilize” the former Daesh bastion and help ensure the militants cannot re-emerge as a threat.

The United States, which leads the coalition, expressed its  thanks and appreciation to Riyadh.

“This significant contribution is critical to stabilization and early recovery efforts,” a State Department spokeswoman said. “Saudi Arabia has been a leading partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS from the outset.”

The funds are the biggest single financial  contribution yet for reconstruction efforts in areas formerly controlled by the extremists.

The money would “save lives, help facilitate the return of displaced Syrians, and help ensure that Daesh cannot reemerge to threaten Syria, its neighbors, or plan attacks against the international community,” the Saudi Embassy in Washington said.

The contribution aims to support “stabilization projects” and “will play a critical role in the coalition’s efforts to revitalize communities, such as Raqqa, that have been devastated by Daesh terrorists.”

The statement said the money showed Saudi Arabia’s continued commitment to serve as a stabilizing force in the region.

The funds, part of a pledge made by Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir last month, will go towards projects to restore essential services in the areas of health, agriculture, electricity, water, education, and transportation.

The United Nations has said reconstruction in Syria would cost at least $250 billion. The Daesh takeover of large areas of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014 led to huge levels of destruction. 

A conference on the reconstruction of Iraq held in Kuwait in February raised $30 billion in funding commitment. Saudi Arabia said at the event it would contribute $1.5 billion in financial and reconstruction support. 

Saudi Arabia also hosted the founding conference for the coalition in Jeddah in September 2014, and soon after flew the first air missions to bomb Daesh targets in Syria.