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Monday, October 13, 2008

15 days to save journalists in Somalia

Somali kidnappers threaten to kill Canadian journalist, Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer, Nigel Brennan if ransom is not paid.

Press TV's correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Monday that one of the kidnappers said if the $2.5 million ransom was not paid in 15 days, the journalists would be killed.

Lindhout and Brennan were kidnapped while en route to Hawa Abdi refugee camp in Afgoye -- a city located 28 km southwest of Mogadishu -- from the Somali capital, on August 23.

Lindhout, 27, a freelance television and print reporter from Sylvan Lake, Alberta, filed stories from Iraq on behalf of Press TV, Iran's 24-hour English-language news channel.

The abduction comes amid the unrest that continues unabated in Somalia. Years of fighting between rival warlords and the inability to deal with famine and disease have so far resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

Journalists are frequently taken hostage for ransom in the Horn of Africa country.

1 comment:

  1. I do hope that this threat from the abductors of Amanda and Nigel turns out to be a bluff of some type. The abductors have taken three individuals hostage, have demanded an incredible sum of money for their release, and now have issued a statement to the effect of "give us our monetary demands or else".

    I have always advocated that individuals (be they a government, a family, etc.) on the receiving end of terroristic threats or manipulations, should NEVER negotiate with terrorists (as these people clearly are). In addition, the abductors are doing this in the name of Islam, and to be honest with you, Islam IS NOT compatable with the precepts of Western Civilization. Nada.

    These guys want to roll the clock back to the seventh century A.D. and enslave everyone under their yoke. We've seen this happen before. The area is incredibly unstable and has been for decades. These people have no scruples when it comes to valuing human life (except theirs ... however, this can be debated as well [think suicide bombers]).

    I do pray that Amanda and Nigel are released SOON. This has gone on for too long with no visible progress being mentioned either by the Canadian, Australian, or Somali governments. It seems as if this story has fallen by the wayside in the scope of public interest. This is most unfortunate to Amanda and Nigel's family and friends who have been in deep worry over their predicament and have been following the status of this case since August 23rd.

    I do hope and pray that no harm comes to them. But if anything does, I hope that there will be a swift and overwhelming reaction of retribution upon the kidnappers (think "bombing back to the Stone Age"). We've seen the lengths that the terrorists will go to with regard to the latest news from that region (the pirate takeover of the tanker off of the Somali coast which has gone on for close to two weeks now, further abductions, etc.).

    This area is a backwards place in the world and it should be apparent to them as to why no governments are willing to come to provide them with the humanitarian aid they need, when they squander it without appreciation, or somehow feel that they are "owed" it because of their plight as a Third World country.

    It is unfortunate that good people like Amanda, who only has the best interests of individuals in need or are displaced or poor, are the ones who become unfortunate pawns in this conflict.

    Blessed are the peacemakers and those who seek to help the downtrodden.

    You'll have to pardon me for my tone of frustration here in this post ... this last update has gotten me a bit wound up. I continue to keep everyone involved in this ongoing situation in my daily prayers. I once again extend my thoughts and prayers out to both Amanda and Nigel and their families. May they come home soon, both safe and sound.

    Take care,

    Brent Watts
    Florida, U.S.A.