SEYCHELLES AND TANZANIA AGREE ON JOINT ANTI PIRACY MEASURES
The visit by Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete to the Seychelles a few days ago has brought two allies together, both affected by ocean terrorists and both losing tourism business from the absence of cruiseships and suffering from increased cost of imports due to the insurance surcharges levied on cargos headed for the East African seaboard and the Indian Ocean island states.
Both countries’ navies and coast guard have in the past been involved in shootouts with the ocean terrorists, when freeing hostages and taking hijacked ocean vessels back from captivity, and in Tanzania several ocean terrorists were arrested on shore when the brazenly decided to make landfall to ‘procure’ water, fuel and food, at gunpoint more likely but spotted early enough to lay an ambush for them and arrest them.
A recent ‘tell it all’ interview with the Seychellois Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, Energy and Transport the Hon. Joel Morgan revealed clearly how determined the Seychelles are to put an end to the menace, when in hard hitting statements, fully supported by this correspondent, he warned the Somali pirates of deadly consequences when threatening security, trade and open sealanes in Seychellois waters, a tenor now repeated when Presidents Michel and Kikwete met at State House in Victoria. Besides agreeing in joint measures to combat the ‘problem from hell’ in terms of surveillance and exchange of intelligence data, the two presidents also discussed further cooperation between the two countries’ tourism and aviation sectors, trade and other matters of mutual interest. President Kikwete was also present at the Seychelles National Day celebrations in Victoria, underscoring the importance Seychelles attaches to her relations with mainland Africa and in particular her East African neighbours across the Indian Ocean.
A new alliance of the determined and the willing, and warmly welcomed by all concerned, well not all, as the ocean terrorists will surely not be amused.