Spain, Britain seek journalists' release in Somalia
The two countries have set up a crisis cell to try to secure the release of a Briton, a Spaniard and two Somali reporters who were taken by kidnappers while reporting on the piracy problems.28 November 2008
MADRID – Spain and Britain have set up a crisis cell to seek the release of four journalists, including a Briton and a Spaniard, kidnapped in Somalia, the Spanish foreign minister said.
"Our teams are coordinating and are working find a solution as quickly as possible," Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters at the Torrejon de Ardoz military base near Madrid.
"Our embassy in the United Kingdom yesterday took part in a working session of the crisis cell that (British) Foreign Office has set up," he said.
Moratinos said he has been unable so far to speak with his British counterpart, David Miliband, who is in Pakistan.
Kidnappers took the four journalists - a Spanish photographer, Jose Cendon, a Briton and two Somalis - on Wednesday in Bosasso, capital of the northern Somali breakaway region of Puntland, where they had been reporting on the problem of piracy off the Somali coast.
"Our ambassador in Kenya has been able to have a conversation with the authorities in Puntland, has spoken to the interior minister of Puntland who has confirmed the kidnappings," Moratinos said.
Bosasso is a port rife with armed gangs smuggling everything from arms to migrants across the Gulf of Aden.
Puntland also serves as a base for pirates who have been hijacking ships in the Gulf of Aden.
The war-wracked Horn of Africa nation was ranked as the world's second-deadliest country for journalists throughout 2007 by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
[AFP / Expatica]