Seychelles leader reshuffles govt

2010-06-09 11:27

Victoria - Seychelles President James Michel on Tuesday announced a reshuffle of the Indian Ocean archipelago's government, creating a new home affairs portfolio to respond to the growing threat of Somali piracy.

Joel Morgan, who was already in charge of transport and environment, takes on a newly-created interior portfolio, the president's office said in a statement.

"A new ministry of home affairs is being created to respond better to issues of national security," the statement said.

The ministry will be in charge of police and prisons and will co-ordinate efforts to combat Somali piracy, which has since 2009 expanded into Seychelles waters, threatening key revenue from tourism and fishing.

The Seychelles earlier this year became only the second littoral state after Kenya to sign an agreement with the European Union for prosecuting suspected pirates detained at sea.

The reshuffle sees the 85 000-strong nation's president take on tourism, in addition to the portfolios of defence, legal affairs and information he already held.

The new line-up is to be submitted to the National Assembly next week.