March 01, 2006

American Hostage Freed in Nigeria, Two More Remain in Captivity

Mixed news from Nigeria. American Macon Hawkins has been freed, but Cody Oswald and Russel Spell are still being held by the Ijaw rebels. Also held hostage are Briton John Hudspith, Egypt's Bardese Mohammed and Aly Shady, Tony Santos of the Philippines and Thailand's Muado Somsak and Arak Suwana.

We urge their immediate and unconditional release. Thanks to George for the tip. AFP:

Nigerian separatist guerrillas released six of their nine foreign hostages but warned that they would step up attacks aimed at shutting down the country's oil industry.

The militants also stated they would not hand over the remaining captives -- two Americans and a Briton -- until two ethnic Ijaw leaders are freed from jail and the oil giant Shell makes a hefty payout to polluted villages.

Officials confirmed that Macon Hawkins, a 69-year-old Texan suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, had been freed.

Meanwhile, an AFP reporter saw five more freed oil workers arriving at Delta State Governor James Ibori's lodge in the oil city of Warri and navy spokesman Captain Obiara Medani said that a total of six men had been freed.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:11 PM | Comments |