Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

Read more

  • US reaches historic $16bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syria, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Deadly street battles hit Ukrainian rebel stronghold

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Two foreign workers kidnapped in Somalia

Latest update : 2008-04-01

The workers, a Briton and a Kenyan, were abducted by armed men Tuesday in southern Somalia, the latest in a string of attacks targeting humanitarian operations in the restive country.

A Briton and a Kenyan initially identified as UN aid workers were abducted by armed men Tuesday in southern Somalia in the latest in a string of attacks targeting humanitarian operations.
   
Local elders said gunmen opened fire during the attack and one of the hostages was slightly wounded.
   
However UN officials later explained in Rome that the two were not actually members of the staff of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a United Nations agency, as originally reported.
   
They said the victims were in fact working for an Indian-based group sub-contracted to do aerial survey work for the FAO.
   
Confirming the nationalities and the abductions, the FAO said they were employees of Genesys International Corporation, an information technology firm based in Bangalore, India.
   
In a communique published at FAO headquarters in Rome, it said Genesys was operating in Somalia under contract to the FAO.
   
In Somalia, Genesys undertakes aerial surveys to prepare detailed maps in order to help sections of the population affected by floods caused by rises in the water level of the Juba and Shabelle rivers.
   
Local district commissioner Ibrahim Noleye originally told AFP "two foreign aid workers from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) were intercepted by armed militiamen on their way to Buale."
   
"We believe they are being held hostage," he added.
   
"There is one from Kenya and the other is British. I have worked on projects with them before," said a Somali aid worker on condition of anonymity.
   
Several local elders confirmed the nationalities and the British foreign office in London said it was urgently investigating the incident.
   
The abduction took place on a road leading to Buale, in Somalia's southern Lower Jubba region, north of the city of Kismayo.
   
The district commissioner said he would send security forces to the area where the attack occurred.
   
The kidnapped staffers were believed to be working on a project for the Somalia Water and Land Information Management, a branch of the FAO, at the time of the abduction.
   
Aid workers, notably foreigners, have been increasingly targeted across Somalia in recent months.
   
A German aid worker was briefly held hostage by gunmen in northern Somalia in mid-February, and three staff of Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF - Doctors Without Borders) were killed by a roadside bomb in January in Kismayo, causing the international NGO to pull its foreign staff out of Somalia.
   
Late last year, two MSF workers were abducted in the northern region of Puntland days after a French cameraman was also snatched. All three were eventually released unharmed.
   
A number of top international aid agencies said last month that the Horn of Africa country had become too dangerous for its workers.
   
"Attacks on, and killings of aid workers, the looting of relief supplies, and a lack of respect for international humanitarian law by all parties have left two million Somalis in need of basic humanitarian assistance," they said.
   
The 39 organisations -- including Oxfam, World Vision and Save the Children -- issued their warning of an impending humanitarian catastrophe ahead of a UN Security Council debate.
   
"There are now more than one million internally displaced people in Somalia. Intense conflict in Mogadishu continues to force an average of 20,000 people from their homes each month," they said in a joint statement.

Date created : 2008-04-01

COMMENT(S)