Somali Pirates Holding Five Kenyans for Ransom, Says UN
A new report from the UN reveals Somali pirates are holding five Kenyans and almost forty people from other nations for ransom.
The 18-page update on piracy in war-torn Somalia confirms no major commercial vessels have been hijacked in recent years, but reveals dozens are still being held captive from smaller-scale abductions.
Kenyans still missing
The UN report doesn’t offer much in the way of details over the outstanding abductions. In November 2014, two Kenyans were kidnapped while delivering medicine in the Puntland region. James Gachamba Kuria was finally released in February this year – the only Kenyan hostage to be freed so far in 2016.
Meanwhile, his colleague Lois Njoki Weru wasn’t quite so lucky. “The Kenyan woman is still being held hostage,” the report briefly acknowledges.
Not enough being done
The alarming thing for those kidnapped by Somali pirates is the lack of action being taken. Mr Kuria wasn’t freed because his country came looking for him. He managed to escape during a raid by Somali security forces on the village where he and his partner were being held.
However, now he has to live knowing Ms Weru is still being held hostage and little is being done to bring her home.
Maritime analyst Andrew Mwangura is calling on the Kenyan government to do more for its citizens who are kidnapped by pirates:
“It is dismaying to see the slow pace of response yet the country has at its disposal experts who could be used in negotiating for free passage home for victims of hijack by gangs of pirates,” he said.
The UN report confirms that large-scale piracy is down on the whole. The major trade routes are now protected, meaning economic interests have been reassured, while the individuals still being kidnapped are largely forgotten about.
By Mass communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky – Images taken from a picture of the at http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/081109-N-1082Z-051.jpg, Public Domain, Link