Oct. 7, 2010.
Sea-jacked British couple, Paul and Rachel Chandler, aged 59 and 56, were abducted from their 38-ft yacht S/Y LYNN RIVAL, seized October 22, 2009 en route to Tanzania, and are still held in Somalia. The yacht was recovered by the crew of UK naval vessel Waveknight, after they witnessed the transfer of the Chandlers to commandeered MV KOTA WAJAR. The yacht was brought back to England. The elderly couple is now held on land close to Adado, sometimes separated for fear of a commando attack.
The case is turning more and more ugly with pirates becoming brutal, politicians ignorant and the financially incapable family intimidated by several sidelines, whose money-guided approach is undermining bids by local elders, human rights groups and the Somali Diaspora to get the innocent couple free. Some humanitarian efforts, however, have succeeded and Somali elders, respected leaders and the Somali Diaspora have renewed their demand for an unconditional release.
Latest reports from the ground say that the couple is now treated better, though they often are kept separated for fear of a military rescue attempt. Since the health of both elderly people at the beginning of the year was reportedly deteriorating rapidly relief and medicine has been sent by a humanitarian organization and was received by the couple.
Repeatedly rumours were spread concerning attacks, wounding or killing one of the hostages and also about a release managed by the TFG, but all these stories became so far not true.
With former British Premier Gordon Brown gone, some believed that the incoming politicians under conservative Premier David Cameron maybe would be more rational and humanitarian minded, would not abandon their citizens but would extend help to solve the appalling case. Unfortunately for the elderly couple in captivity also the new government in the UK made it clear that no ransom would be paid by the British government and British MPs, who had enough and wanted to cut through, were quickly whistled back.
Professor Mohamed Omar Dalha, the Minister for Rehabilitation and Social Affairs of the Somali Transitional Federal Government of Somalia had repeatedly been pleading with the hostage takers to release the couple, but to no avail.
Also, the direct approach by the family seems to have had some not so successful advisers, because an attempt to free the Chandlers mid June 2010 didn't work out, while the family according to Reuters allegedly already lost the 430,000 US$ they had collected by paying that amount blindly to to elders involved in the negotiations, a clan chief told Reuters. The pirates had demanded a $7 million ransom for the couple, but reduced the figure to less than $1 million.
Most recently the British officials who still hold a firm grip on the next of kin of the abducted couple, seem to have embarked on a campaign under the motto: "If we can't get them free, nobody else shall!" and concentrated their efforts not on uniting capable people and available resources to get a solution, but to just frustrate any independent effort. Such can be summarized as factual abandonment, though - in order to be fair - it also must be stated very clearly that neither the Transitional Federal Government, be it President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed himself, nor the Prime-Minister or several cabinet-ministers, who all promised to get the hostages free, have achieved anything. Likewise the Somali Diaspora, who apparently collected money, which now is said to have disappeared, did also not prove to be helpful.
With next of kin in retreat, the British government blocking, officials incapable, the media gagged and even friends helpless, the chances of the Chandlers look bleak, while fundamentalist Al-Shabaab are approaching the area where they are held.
The last proof of life from the couple dates from mid September 2010.
From: Australia.to News - HERE