Somalia’s world-backed weak transitional government on Friday said it is very concerned over the wellbeing of a British couple who have been held by pirates since October last year.
“Our government will do its utmost to help release the hostages and we are urging the buccaneers to unconditionally free them without delay” labor minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir nicknamed Mareye told a news conference at the presidential Palace on Friday.
He called on all Somalis including those living in the United Kingdom to do whatever they can to help release the couple, Paul Chandler, 60, and his wife Rachel, 56, who fell into the hands of notorious pirates on October 23 last year, as they were on the luxury boat sailing from Seychelles Island in the Indian Ocean heading to Tanzania.
“We are asking the UK government to help the Somali government in the process of releasing the hostages” the minister said during his Friday press conference at the presidential palace.
“We are also urging the traditional elders in the area where the couple are being held to organize pubic uprisings to compel the pirates free them,” the Somali minister of Labour stated.
Somalia has been without a functioning central government for the past two decades and as a result, the chaotic country’s coast has become one of the most dangerous in the world, where buccaneers hijack dozens of ships every year.
Late last year, the Somali government formed the first unit of coastal guards in the lawless country since 1991, but due to lack of proper equipment and financial support, the coastal guards have not yet commenced work with pirates still at large in Somali waters.