The minister visited the Hargeisa prison where 87 pirates tried by Somaliland are incarcerated. The Netherlands plans to contribute a million euros, via the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, for the construction of a new prison, for pirates and other offenders, and measures to strengthen the justice system. This will increase the capacity available for imprisoning pirates in the region and UNODC’s involvement guarantees compliance with international standards.
In the presence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Knapen laid the first stone for a new parliament building. The Netherlands is donating €700,000 for construction and for training parliamentarians and support staff. Earlier in the day, he visited a camp for displaced Somalis. Their presence sometimes leads to tension with the local population.
Through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) the Netherlands is supporting temporary accommodation for internally displaced persons throughout Somalia. ‘When Somalia is safer these displaced persons can return home’, said the Minister.
Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991. However, the international community does not recognise the unilateral declaration. Increasing stability in Somaliland could boost economic development in the region and have a positive effect on Somalia. Bolstering fragile states is one of the key themes of Dutch development cooperation policy.
Source: Dutch Minsitery of foreign affairs