Gwen Le Gouil seized in Somalia

Reuters reports that negotiations are underway today in Somalia for the release of French cameraman Gwen Le Gouil abducted on Sunday. He was working in the northern Puntland region on a human trafficking story,

“The negotiations are underway this morning,” said Jean Laurent, a colleague of Le Gouil’s in Nairobi from their small TV company Cargocult Production. Puntland’s interior minister was leading negotiations, he added. “We don’t know exactly how much they are asking. The first demand was $70,000, then sometimes it’s $35,000.” link

Eight local journalists have been killed in Somalia this year. 24 others fled to neighbouring Somaliland earlier this month.
Update: According to AP Le Gouil was moved to a new location today. “We were not able to see him today because the abductors relocated the journalist,” Awale Jama told AFP, adding he was “still hopeful efforts to release him will be successful.” link
Update: 18 Dec: A Somali clan elder said on Tuesday he had seen a French journalist kidnapped by gunmen since the weekend and he was in a “fine” condition. But the local elder, who is related to the kidnappers, also told Reuters the group was demanding an $80,000 ransom. link
Update: 19 Dec: Osman Yusuf, also told AFP that a deal had been reached to secure Le Gouil’s quick release. When he spoke to AFP by phone, the cameraman seemed in good spirits and confident of a peaceful outcome. “I’m just looking forward to getting out now. My health situation is good. I’m hoping… to go back to France and meet my relatives and girlfriend again,” he said. link
Update: 22 Dec: Somali regional authorities may charge a kidnapped French journalist with immigration offenses after he is released, an official said Saturday. Farah Abdi Dolshe, the deputy security minister of the semiautonomous region of Puntland, said cameraman Gwen Le Gouil “was illegally traveling, which is a clear violation against our law. We would start a law suit against him once released.” link
Update: 24 Dec: “We are very pleased to see Mr Gwen Le Gouil freed, but we appeal to Puntland Authorities to protect and guarantee the safety of journalists” said Abdirisak Omar Ismail, Chairperson of NUSOJ Supreme Council. ” We feel that suffering is over, and all our efforts have been to bring pressure to secure his immediate release”. link