Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2016

Somali pirates still holding Kenyans, demand ransom

Somalia pirates are still holding three Kenyans captured in November 2014, Marine expert Andrew Mwangura has said.

Mwangura said the three – Louis Njoki, George Macharia and George Macharia – were being held alongside 13 foreign sailors.

“Mburu, 36, and 41-year old Njoki hail from Ongata Rongai, and are currently in Harardhere District in Galgaduud region,” he told the Star on Saturday.

He added the three were living in deplorable conditions in the hands of the pirates.
Njoki was captured along with her partner James Kuria while delivering medicine in the country.

Kuria was freed during a raid by Somali security forces last February.

“The two other Kenyans were working for a construction company in Mogadishu when they were kidnapped by militia from Habargidir,” said the marine expert.

The group believed to have captured the two Kenyan civil engineers is under the control of Mohammed Gafanje.

Mwagura said the pirates have demanded ransom to set the three free, but did not specify the amount.

He said the captives’ details were submitted to relevant authorities but that the government was yet to contact the families.

He said they last communicated with their families in January 2014.

Last week, Somali pirates released 26 crew members of Oman flagged fishing vessel FV NAHAN 3, hijacked South of the Seychelles in March 2012, after negotiation and possible payment of ransom.

One crew died during the hijacking while two died from illness while in captivity.
Among the hostages were men from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Mwagura said few such incidents have been reported within the Gulf of Aden. He said they targeted a civilian ship, a US Navy vessel and a United Arab Emirates merchant ship in attacks early this year.

Piracy became a major threat to international shipping in 2012, prompting interventions by the United Nations, European Union and NATO

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