An East London minicab driver, Dahir Abdullahi Kadiye, a British Somali, took on the role of hostage negotiator because his children told him they felt ashamed after watching the couple appeal for help.
Mr Kadiye travelled to his home town of Adado to talk to tribal elders and other community figures who could put pressure on the abductors. His six-month involvement is said to have ended with him leading a party of elders and armed men to the release point for the Chandlers. He said “As Somalians we feel the abductors let us down. This was not in the Somali tradition. They made the whole family and the whole nation feel guilty at what they have done.”
A music video made by Somalis living in London helped to secure £150,000 in ransom money for the Chandlers’ release. The song was recorded by the Somali news station Universal TV and has been broadcast more than 10 times on the channel. Somalis living in London inundated the station offering to donate money to pay the ransom when it was first shown in September.
In a statement to the Chandlers the Somalian prime minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said: “The Somali government and Somali people are pleased that they got their freedom. The transitional federal government … exerted every humanly possible effort to bring you back to your loved ones and notwithstanding what you went through.”
Other good news:
Earlier, Somali fishermen from the Gulf of Aden rescued about 126 people mostly from Somalia and Ethiopia, who had set off from northern Somalia. Their boat had developed engine trouble and they reported that human traffickers forced them into the sea at gunpoint. The coast guard from the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland spotted the first survivors floating in the water on Sunday clinging to bits of driftwood and utterly exhausted. The mayor of Laaso Suarad, the town which organised the rescue, told the BBC they dispatched a flotilla of fishing boats to search for more survivors.
But the problem is serious:
It is reported that more than 350 hostages are currently being held by the pirates.