“Completely stopped and broken”

In an email to 630 CHED News / iNews 880 Daud Abdi Daud, of The Somali Journalists Rights Agency, says that the recent increase in fighting in and around the Somali capital Mogadishu has stopped negotiations to release Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan, the two freelance journalists held captive since August, 2008,

The savage fighting in and around Mogadishu means that negotiations to free Lindhout and Australian Nigel Brennan are in the words of a senior spokesman “completely stopped and broken”.

Daud Abdi Daud says he recently confirmed both Lindhout and Brennan are alive but the conditions of their captivity have worsened, partially because of violence beyond their abductors’ control.

They are said to be shuffled from safe house to safe house in Mogadishu but fighting has moved into the part of the city where it’s believed they are being held. link

UPDATE: Ambroise Pierre, Africa desk chief for Reporters Without Borders, confirms negotiations have stopped. The Canadian foreign office is tight lipped,

“The kidnappers have stopped talking,” said Pierre. “I can confirm that.”

Pierre said it’s believed to be the first time talks between the kidnappers and the Canadian and Australian governments have stopped. He said he can only guess why the captors have decided to stop talking.

“I assume that’s to put pressure on the Canadian government,” he said. “I know they are still alive and in good condition.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs is saying little about the case.

“We are pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information about Ms. Lindhout’s welfare, and to assist the family in securing her safe release as well as that of Mr. Brennan,” said department spokesman Daniel Barbarie.

“We will not comment or release any information which may compromise these efforts and jeopardize the safety of a Canadian or other citizen.” link