Seychelles’ president: Coast Guard base on Assumption, more effort needed in drug fight
President Danny Faure of Seychelles held his last live press conference for 2018 at State House, Victoria, on Thursday evening. Below is an overview of the issues discussed during the event, which was broadcast on Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation national television and radio.
Coast Guard assets to be moved to Assumption Island
Commenting on the latest development in regards to Assumption island, Faure said that further meetings need to be held with the National Assembly’s Committee on Island, which is most likely to happen during the first quarter of 2019.
“I, however, have taken a decision as the Commander-in-Chief, to start moving the assets of Coast Guard to Assumption. No military base has been created on the island, and none will be created – there will be a coast guard facility there,” said Faure.
He clarified that there is a need for the coast guard to be present in that area as “a lot of things are happening there.”
Recruitment of foreign workers to be regulated
In regards to incidents where foreign workers were being mistreated in the country, Faure said that problems faced by migrant workers are mostly in sectors that are developing such as construction.
“We do not face such challenges in the tourism sector as it is a well-established sector.” He commented that there is a need to relook at the way recruitments are done.
“It has been decided that there needs to be an agreement made between Seychelles and Bangladesh. Recruitment should be done in a structured manner, and not by people we do not know, hence the need to create a framework under which this will be done,” said Faure.
Seychelles currently has 22,000 expatriate workers contributing to the country’s economy.
Tighter grip on the drug issue
Faure said that he is not satisfied with efforts in place to fight drugs in the country.
“I am not satisfied with the help that we are getting and I think we can get much stronger collaboration in our effort to deal with drugs. In Seychelles there is a general necessity for us to do better,” said Faure.
He added that though progress has been made when it comes to treating people with drug addictions, the progress is not enough. Dealing with drug issues “should be done a consistent manner, and application of the law, the role of the judiciary needs to improve.”
“When you put some of your citizens on a methadone programme, you need to prepare them for another programme. It would have been a great plus had the (rehabilitation) centre at Cap Ternay been put in place this year,” said Faure.
Granting of citizenship
Answering a question about the number of citizenships given, the president said that he is applying the law.
“As the president, I have given citizenship to 60 people since I became president and I can justify why I used the power that I have under the constitution to do so for each case,” said Faure.
He added that there have been debates in the National Assembly as well as analysis that the relevant minister is doing to see if there is a need to amend or improve this section of the constitution.
Seychellois prisoners in Egypt
In 2013 three Seychellois men were sentenced to death in Egypt for drug trafficking and their sentences were reduced to life imprisonment in 2015. Faure said that even before he became president, there have been numerous communications on the case between Seychelles and Egypt.
“When I became the president I met with the prime minister and the president and placed the case to their attention. We are still waiting for them and each time I meet with my counterparts, I talk about this,” said Faure.
Source: Seychelles News Agency
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