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Oman could help Somalia with the Coast Guard, Judiciary training: UNODC

Muscat Dailu
Monday, October 22, 2012
By: Richard Thomas


Talks have taken place between Oman and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide assistance in the development of the Somali Coast Guard and train its judiciary, in a move to prevent acts of piracy in regional waters, according to UNODC officials.

However, there hasn't been any agreement between Oman and Somalia on the transfer of suspects convicted here on accounts of piracy against Omani vessels or inside territorial waters, added officials. Known as the Piracy Prisoner Transfer Programme (PPTP), it was launched on January 1 this year after being endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2015.

“Oman and UNODC have been discussing cooperative engagement in support of the Somali Coast Guard and potential assistance with the training of the Somali judiciary. With regard to possible Oman involvement in the PPTP, no request for support has been raised, nor has any transfer agreement been signed with the Somali authorities,” said a UNODC spokesperson.

The disclosure comes following a concerted effort by both the international community and the Somali government to find a permanent solution to piracy, the majority of which originates from Somalia and has plagued the region in recent years.

Other countries affected by Somalia-based piracy have signed up to the PPTP, including the Seychelles, who recently transferred 17 convicted pirates to a prison in Hargeisa, Somaliland. According to the UNODC some 20 per cent of inmates in Seychelles prisons are Somali pirates.

Mauritius has also voiced its intention to be able to transfer convicted pirates back to the Somali mainland.

Much of the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the PPTP has been funded by the UNODC, including prisons in Somalia and a new Ministry of Justice in Somaliland.

In Puntland, the PPTP is providing support for the construction and refurbishment of a 500 bed prison in the former pirates stronghold of Garowe. The prison is due to be operational by the end of 2012.


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