The tiny island nation of the Seychelles is to transfer 19 convicted Somali pirates to a prison in northern Somalia.
Alan Cole, a lawyer with the United Nations' anti-piracy program, says the move would be the first transfer of convicted prisoners back to Somalia.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime spent $1.5 million to refurbish a prison in the breakaway enclave of Somaliland so it would meet international standards.
Pirates make up about 20 percent of the population in the main prison in the Seychelles.
International navies dock there in the Seychelles. The U.S. flies aerial surveillance drones from there and the Seychelles is one of the few countries in the region currently putting pirates on trial.