23 September 1995
RELEASE OF FOREIGN DETAINEES IN SOMALIA
Two other Australians, Lyn Bishop and Christine Castles, were safely evacuated on Wednesday along with five others. All three Australians had been in Baidoa at the time of the take-over of the town by General Aideed's forces on 17 September.
The evacuation of the 21 foreign nationals was the result of the combined efforts of governments, aid agencies and the United Nations.
The Australians are all in good health and report that they were well treated over the period of their detention.
Officers of the Australian High Commissions in Nairobi, Harare and Pretoria and from the office of my Department in Sydney are providing assistance to Lynette Bishop throughout her return to Australia. Similar assistance will be provided to the other Australians as needed.
The incident is a further indication of the continuing unstable political environment in Somalia. The Australian Government urges the opposing factions to work toward a peaceful resolution of Somalia's political turnmoil and bring an end to the warfare which has robbed Somalia's people of so much in recent years.
The international community can only effectively assist Somalia to develop and overcome its humanitarian and economic problems once Somalia's faction leaders commit themselves to a peaceful transition to stable, representative government.