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A $2.1 million series of projects to help Somalia and neighboring countries prosecute pirate suspects was approved Friday by a 10-nation board in charge of a new U.N. trust fund for the fight against piracy.

Four of the projects will help strengthen institutions in the Seychelles, which serves alongside Kenya as a regional center for the prosecution of suspected pirates, according to the U.N.

The initiative, which also involves the regions of Puntland and Somaliland, will include mentoring of prosecutors and police, constructing prisons, reviewing domestic legislation on piracy and enhancing the capacity of the courts.

The U.N. also is planning a public awareness project designed to spread an anti-piracy message within Somalia. The 10-nation U.N. board includes Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Norway, Somalia and the United States.

The U.N. board also has established an emergency fund to offset the costs involved in prosecuting piracy suspects arrested at sea, including travel for witnesses, court equipment and the transportation of suspects.


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