Report on the Pierre Korkie Hostage Situation
We are as anxious as you awaiting some kind of communication from the captors but for now there has been a complete blackout on information. In fact from Wednesday, 15 January 2014, there has been a substantial reduction in bilateral communication between us and the captors. On that day we spoke to them for about three minutes only. All previous communication was several hours per day either telephonically, face-face, or both.
On that Wednesday we requested an extension of time but specifically asked for thirty days to which we've had no response to date. On Thursday again there was no communication for the whole day. In the evening we called the captors to make it very clear that even though there may be an extension of time under no circumstances will we be able to raise 3 million dollars irrespective of the number of months that may be given. We didn't want to create the expectancy that the extension of time will automatically result in the delivery of 3 million dollars.
When we gave that clarification it was the first time in eleven days that there was an ominous silence. They didn't respond, comment, acknowledge or say anything. They just cut the call. We tried for a second time but they refused to answer that call. It was at that time that Anas al-Hamati, our office manager, was concerned about his own security. It was on Monday that they told him since you don't have 3 million dollars maybe we should take you away.
In the interest of Anas's security we moved him Thursday night immediately after the phone call to an undisclosed secure location. For now there is a total shutdown in communication between us and the captors. We don't know the state Pierre is in right now but we remain positive. In our calculation the 8-day deadline ends tomorrow at 6am but on Monday they told us it was this Friday; no specific time was given. We can only hope that Yolande's international call for "a stay-in-execution" is acted upon by favourable decision makers.
At this moment in time our hearts and prayers go out to the Korkie family. Only they understand the difficult circumstances they find themselves in as there can be no pain greater than the uncertainty of knowing the whereabouts and condition of your loved one and whether that loved one is still alive or deceased. We request the continuous prayer from our countrymen for the Almighty's intervention in achieving a positive outcome with the unconditional release of Pierre Korkie.