Calling for remaining captives to be freed
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, welcomed the release on 25 February of four remaining crewmen of the FV Prantalay 12 vessel, taken hostage at sea by Somali pirates on 18 April 2010.
This is the longest period of captivity by any hostages of Somali pirates.The crew, all Thai nationals, were released by their captors into the hands of the Somali Regional Administration in Galmudug.
"I am grateful to see the longest held hostages released from Somalia, and thank all those involved who made it happen, especially the regional authorities in Galmudug," SRSG Kay said.
The mission to recover the hostages was conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), funded by the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia's Trust Fund.
The FV Prantalay 12 was a Taiwanese flagged fishing vessel. After being seized by the pirates in 2010 it was used by the pirates as a mother ship, before it eventually capsized in July 2011. The remaining crew were then taken ashore.
Of the original 24 crew members, six succumbed to illness at various stages of captivity, and 14 Myanmar crew members were released to the Puntland Maritime Police authorities. They were repatriated by the UNODC's Hostage Support Programme in May 2011.
While the release of the hostages is welcome news, Somali pirates are still holding 26 more hostages, abducted from the FV Naham 3. SRSG Kay called for their immediate release.
"I remain deeply concerned that 26 crew members are still being held hostage in Somalia, and urge their release without further delay."