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Seychelles proposes regional approach against scourge of drugs at southern Africa conference

Victoria, Seychelles | August 21, 2017, Monday @ 13:57 in National » GENERAL | By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 1340
Seychelles proposes regional approach against scourge of drugs at southern Africa conference

President Faure highlighted to the SADC leaders that the island nation has seen an increase in HIV infections due to the rise in intravenous drugs users.(State House)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' contribution and proposal for the introduction of a comprehensive regional strategy to collectively address drug issues have been welcomed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), a communiqué from State House on Monday said.

Heads of states and governments of SADC were attending the 37th summit which took place during the weekend in Pretoria, South Africa. 

On the issue of HIV/AIDS, the president of Seychelles, Danny Faure, highlighted to the SADC leaders that the island nation has seen an increase in HIV infections due to the rise in intravenous drugs users. As a result, Faure proposed the urgent need to address the drug problem as a region.

Participants at the summit agreed that there was an imperative necessity for the region to adopt a concerted and robust strategy to address the multifaceted components of the scourge of drugs. The agreement was made given the harsh consequences being felt by the population of member states, particularly the youth.

Heads of states and governments of SADC were attending the 37th summit which took place during the weekend in Pretoria, South Africa. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY

On the issue of drugs in Seychelles, since he assumed the presidency last October, Faure has introduced new approaches aimed primarily at reducing the quantity of drugs entering the country and reducing the demand for drug consumption in the country.

The SADC secretariat welcomed President Faure's proposal and decided to put in place the necessary mechanism via a task force to elaborate on this issue and contribute to a strategic roadmap. This should be submitted for consideration at the next council meeting in March 2018.

On the sidelines of the summit, Faure met with the president of South African Jacob  Zuma and David Mbangiseni Mahlobo, the Minister of State Security.

The two leaders agreed to work on a framework of cooperation in the areas of police and regional security.

Key activities to be developed between the two countries’ police forces and authorities in charge of national security, would include capacity building exercises such as assessment and training, exchange of expertise and crime combating.

The president of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, conveyed his appreciation for the support that the South African government has given to the island nation in the field of policing and security.

Experts from South Africa's police force are already in Seychelles and are assisting the local police force in its search for Marvin Asba, who has been missing for more than a month.

While stressing the importance of cementing such collaborations between the two neighbouring countries, Faure noted how this will enhance the two governments abilities to better secure their respective countries and in so doing, the region.

President Faure is due back in the country on August 23.

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Tags: Southern Africa Development Community, SADC secretariat, 37th summit

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