By Goth Mohamed Goth
A delegation consisting of foreign diplomats based in Nairobi, Kenya and representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Counter Piracy Programme arrived in the country yesterday for a three day visit working visit.
Somaliland Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon Hussein Ahmed Aided was there receive the visiting diplomats upon their arrival in the country at the Egal International Airport.
The Diplomats from Australia, Holland and Norway and representatives of UNDOC Counter Piracy Programme are expected to visit and inspect the various development projects funded by their respective governments in Somaliland during their three day visit.
The Justice Minister speaking to the press said “Speaking on behalf of the people of Somaliland I would like to use this opportunity to extend our profound gratitude for their generosity of these three friendly nations which have been providing us with much needed assistance critical to the success of fighting piracy and in ensuring that judicial provisions on land are in place UNODC are working with the Somaliland authorities in the judicial reform process and prosecution services in a bid to step up responses to what is clearly a scourge both to maritime trade, travel and to local development.
The Commander of Somaliland custodial corps Brig. Gen. Mohamed Hussein Hiraanee speaking during the opening of a new vocational training building at the Mandera Maximum Prison said, “With this new facility we expect a shift in approach by prison authorities to supplement incarceration with skills development and rehabilitation is critical for transforming the lives of convicts. With this kind of prison reform in place we hope it will assist in tackling the long-term goal of dealing with piracy.
The visiting Diplomats are expected to visit the several correctional facilities in the country including the recently refurbished Hargeisa Prison in Somaliland, which was officially opened two years ago as part of UNODC’s counter-piracy work in Somaliland. The prison is considered critical to Somaliland’s efforts to deal with the piracy and will provide additional space for pirates arrested by Somaliland’s Coast Guard and convicts tried in other courts.