Ministers reassure hostages’ families of efforts for their release


11-April-2012

Ministers Meriton and Morgan and senior police officers have reassured families of Rolly Tambara and Marc Songoire – the two fishermen held captive in Somalia – that everything is being done to secure their release

They were also told that going by the latest contacts, both men are alive and keeping well, though homesick.

The meeting took place at Independence House, where close relatives of the hostages were received by the chairman of the high level committee on piracy, Home Affairs and Transport Minister Joel Morgan and the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton. Mr Meriton is responsible for liaising with the hostages’ relatives.

Also present at the meeting were senior police officers, including Commissioner Ernest Quatre, Chief Superintendent Godfra Hermitte and the owner of the fishing boat Aride on which the two men were seized last November.

Mr Morgan said that direct negotiations with the pirates and their representatives were difficult, as they keep insisting on “unrealistic demands”.

He said it is not government policy to pay ransom as this would make Seychelles an easy target in future. There is also the question of where such funds would come from.

Mr Morgan said however he is optimistic that negotiations running parallel with our partners could open new avenues and yield positive results.

He confirmed there has been a recent conversation with Mr Tambara, but unfortunately, it was not possible to speak to Mr Songoire as well. But, it is understood they are both well, though understandably feeling very homesick. They have been captive for over five months.

The relatives felt that such meetings and news updates on the two hostages should be more regular as otherwise, certain media have the tendency to publish confusing reports.

Mr Morgan said it is very irresponsible for some media to write unfounded allegations regarding the fate of the two men.
“By such sensational articles, they are only adding to the anguish and suffering of the relatives.”

He, however, also promised to keep the relatives posted more often on the progress of negotiations and updated reports on the hostages.

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