Nairobi (Kenya): The Seychelles government says it has transferred 17 convicted Somali pirates to a jail in Somaliland because of overcrowding in its prisons.
Seychelles Minister of Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan said today this is the first time pirates have been moved to Somaliland to complete their jails term.
Somaliland is a breakaway northern enclave of wartorn Somalia which has a stable, elected government though it is not recognised internationally as an independent state.
According to government statistics Somali pirates make up 20 per cent of Seychelles` prison population.
More than two decades of lawlessness in Somalia has created an environment that has allowed piracy to thrive off the Somali coast. Seychelles is one of the few African countries prosecuting pirates arrested by international Navies.