“It is my pleasure to hand over this high-tech equipment to our partners in the Seychelles,” said Etienne de Poncins, the Head of Mission for EUCAP Nestor, during a handover ceremony that marked the donation of equipment to the Seychelles’ Coast Guard, the Judiciary and the Attorney Generals’ Office.
The Minister of Home Affairs and Transport, Joel Morgan, represented the Seychelles at the ceremony that EUCAP Nestor hosted in its office in Victoria on 23 January.
The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including the Chief Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende, Attorney-General Ronny Govinden, and Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Lt Col Simon Dine, as well as the French Ambassador, Madame Genevieve Iancu, representing the local EU presidency.
“It is again proof of the EU’s commitment to the Seychelles in our common struggle against piracy” said de Poncins. “This equipment will strengthen the Seychelles’ capacity to ensure maritime security and to fight piracy. Providing light equipment is a core part of EUCAP Nestor’s mission to build capacity and improve capabilities.”
The equipment, which includes laptops, computer tablets, GPSs, and navigation and information systems (ECDIS), is being given to further strengthen Seychelles authorities’ capacity to fight piracy and maritime crime. EUCAP Nestor experts will provide training on the use and maintenance of the equipment in order to ensure that it will be used in the best possible way.
“I am delighted to accept this equipment on behalf of the Seychelles,” said Minister Morgan. “It will aid our institutions in fighting piracy in a more efficient and expedient manner. The Seychelles is very grateful to EUCAP Nestor and the European Union for its continued support.”
The equipment for the Coast Guard – GPSs, ECDIS, and AIS units – will be used on their base and on vessels. It will improve the Coast Guard’s maritime awareness, in particular of the positions of ships in Seychelles waters. This will enable the Coast Guard to be more cognisant of and responsive to incidents at high sea.
The Coast Guard is also receiving ruggedized laptops that are designed to be used in rough outdoor conditions.
The Supreme Court, the Magistrates Court, and the Court of Appeals will be receiving 20 computer tablets. The tablets will have software installed that will enable users to search digital versions of Seychelles legislation. This will make it easier for the Judges to quickly access key legislation in their work.
The Attorney-General’s Office will also receive laptops and a large copier/printer to facilitate the work of the prosecutors in prosecuting piracy cases.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission, under the so called Common Security and Defence Policy, mandated to assist countries of the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean develop their capacities and capabilities to ensure maritime security, in particular counter-piracy and maritime governance. Part of its mandate includes providing the countries in the region with essential light equipment.