Bossaso — Five convicted pirates from Somalia have been transferred to a newly expanded prison facility in Puntland region of northern Somalia, where Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole launched the new prison expansion in Bossaso, Garowe Online reports.
President Farole, accompanied by Puntland Prisons Commissioner Gen. Ali Nur and other government officials, cut the rope of the expanded facilities on Tuesday at the main prison in the port city of Bossaso, Puntland's commercial capital.
"Puntland Government has pledged to the international community to transfer convicted Somali pirates back to Somalia, where parents and family members can visit their convicted relatives. Some 19 countries around the world now have Somali pirates in detention," said President Farole, while commending international partners for upgrading and constructing new prison facilities in Puntland.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Gen. Ali Nur said: "The first batch consisting of five of a total 40 convicted pirates have been brought today. They include two from Puntland, and three from the rest of Somalia. Somalis are Somalis and Puntland has pledged to provide prison facilities for pirates convicted in foreign countries."
In April 2011, the Seychelles Government signed a piracy-transfer agreement with Puntland to transfer convicted pirates to complete their prison sentences in Puntland. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) facilitated the agreement, officials said.
On Sunday, President Farole hosted a special dinner for the community at the State House in Bossaso. Traditional elders, business leaders, and women's groups among others offered support for President Farole's leadership towards multiparty political system in Puntland.
Aside from President Farole's Horseed political association, declared in Garowe last month, three other political associations have been declared including two political associations declared this week in Bossaso.