AP: Some of the 26 Asian sailors released after being held captive by Somalia pirates for more than four years become emotional as they greet Michael Scott Moore (R), a former hostage who said that he was involved in helping with their release, as they arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport in the capital Nairobi, Kenya, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
Freed hostages brought to Kenya, after being held in Somalia
26 Asian sailors freed after more than four years of captivity in a small fishing village in Somalia arrived in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Sunday, ahead of flights home, a maritime expert said.
The crew from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan were seized when the Omani-flagged FV Naham 3 was hijacked by Somali pirates close to the Seychelles in March 2012, when pirate attacks were common in the area.
The pirates handed the group to authorities in the northern Somali town of Galkayo on Saturday morning.
“It is great to be here today and to bring them home and to hand them over to their embassies and their families,” said John Steed, East Africa region manager for the Oceans Beyond Piracy group.
“We have achieved what we have achieved by getting tribal elders, religious leaders, the community and regional government all involved to put pressure on these guys to release these hostages,” he said at Nairobi’s airport, where the sailors arrived on a United Nations humanitarian flight.
Their period of captivity is one of the longest among hostages seized by pirates in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.READ MORE