The extraordinary story of Dahir Abdullahi Kadiye, the British-Somali man who helped release two hostages held by Somali pirates, raises some interesting questions about the role of immigrant communities in Europe in foreign policy.
Kadiye, a 56 year-old former taxi driver, divides his time between Leytonstone in east London and his native Somalia – the kind of person that former British Europe minister Denis MacShane calls “semigrants”. After hearing about the kidnapping of British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler by pirates off the coast of Somalia last year, he travelled back to the country and became a freelance hostage negotiator. Earlier this month, after a ransom had been transferred to the Somali pirates and their financial backers, Kadiye – who belongs to the same clan as a the pirates - brought the couple to safety after more than a year in captivity.
A few days ago Kadiye told the story in an interview with the UK’s Channel 4 News:
There are countless millions of residents of the 27 EU member states, who, like Kadiye, have hyphenated identities – Pakistanis in Britain, Algerians in France, Turks in Germany and so on. Often, this phenomenon is thought of either as irrevelant to foreign policy or as a foreign policy problem – for example, in terms of the split loyalties such hyphenated identities can create. These groups can certainly influence policies and foreign affairs - look at California's Armenians and Kurdish and Tamil groups in Europe. But as the story of Kadiye’s role in freeing the Chandlers strikingly illustrates, governments perhaps have to start thinking of Europe's immigrant communities as a potential foreign policy resource.
26th July 2012 at 12:07am
From Alex: “Today Radio Cornwall was abuzz with news on the proposed White Elephant for Cornwall (otherwise known as a Stadium for Cornwall).“Alex, you oivuobsly listened to that particular phone-in yet you insist on referring to the Stadium for Cornwall as a ‘White Elephant’. To refresh your selective memory, here is the head of Economic Development at Cornwall Council, Sandra Rothwell answering Reed’s questions: Reed: So Cornwall Council…er..the taxpayer, the ratepayer, wouldn’t be funding this at all. I mean that’s what we were told back in December….S.R: Exactly. Reed: Has that stance changed?S.R: No. That stance hasn’t changed…R: So the taxpayer is never going to be expected to fund this?S.R: No. And that’s something we’ve been very clear about all the way through with this, and that’s why the feasibility work has been so important. As a council, oivuobsly, we have got to go through due process with this, and clearly we haven’t yet agreed a formal position on this, and clearly over the course of the coming months planning is oivuobsly going to be a major issue about location and what any stadium will look like.“The only White Elephant in Cornwall were the Lib Dems. There, how does that grab ‘ee my ‘ansome? LOL.
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