elders and the Somali Red Crescent Society entered a second
day of negotiations on Thursday for the release of two foreign
aid workers kidnapped in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, news
released by the French relief agency, Action contre la Faim
(ACF), identified the two as Francoise Deutch, 46, a French
staff administrator, and Jonathan Ward, 31, a British logistician.
a third European volunteer hid when the compound was broken
into in the early hours on Wednesday morning by militia men
using vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns.
had gone into hiding. Local newspapers said stolen ACF computers
had appeared for sale in local markets by Thursday. Dr Sheikhdon
Salad Elmi, director of Medina Hospital, was able to visit
the hostages on behalf of ACF and the Red Crescent Society,
the reports said.
them as tired, but well, and managed to arrange improved conditions.
One of the Mogadishu-based faction leaders, Osman Hassan Ali
Atto, admitted that militia men loyal to him had seized the
two aid workers, AFP said.
the news agency that his men, working with militia from another
sub-clan in southwest Mogadishu, had kidnapped the two foreigners
"without my knowledge".
In a press
release issued from New York, ACF said it had started its
first relief programmes in Somalia in June 1992 and was "one
of the few humanitarian organisations still assisting the
despite precarious security conditions and frequent evacuations,
ACF teams had been carrying out nutrition, water and sanitation
and health programmes in the capital Mogadishu "where the
largest concentration of the vulnerable populations live".
working in Somalia consisted of 12 international field workers
and 350 Somali staff.
Aideed defends Egypt
Aideed radio station has strongly defended Egypt's policy
towards Somalia in a commentary which described Egypt as a
"genuine friend" of Somalia.
report monitored by BBC radio, it said Egypt was one of the
countries that strongly committed itself to helping beleaguered
Somalia, by organising "several peace conferences in Cairo".
also helped with education and health, said the report. It
said claims that the Egyptian government "is against the peace
process" were baseless and obscured the positive role that
Egypt had played: "May Somalia's relationship with Egypt continue
to grow even stronger," it added.
has been the focus of demonstrations in southern Somalia and
Djibouti, where it was accused of persuading Mogadishu-based
faction leader Hussein Mohamed Aideed to carry out an eleventh-hour
boycott of the Djibouti-hosted Somali National Peace Talks.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa said Egypt "fully supports"
the Djbiouti peace initiative, the Egyptian news agency MENA