SA Hostages in Yemen
Our office in Yemen decided to intervene and assist in locating the South African hostages following the extensive coverage in the Yemen media two weeks ago. Anas al-Hamati, Gift of the Givers Yemen project manager, contacted the Yemeni president's office and the foreign ministry and has been granted full co-operation by these and all government institutions given our extensive humanitarian activities in that country since August 2012. The South African ambassador to Saudi Arabia, whose portfolio includes Yemen, has been met and briefed by Anas.
This weekend Anas was taken to Taiz where he met the Governor of the province and the head of security. He also visited the language centre where Pierre (one of the SA hostages) was employed and was welcomed by the assistant director . It appears that Pierre and Yolande were abducted by 9 members of Al-Qaeeda. The information received points to the hostages being held in Ibb province in one of the villages there. Anas is on his way there today to meet the head of security. The Yemeni government has extended all facilities and personnel to us in areas where they are in control. Sheik Hussain, an influential tribal leader, who was responsible for negotiating the release of two Swiss hostages has been accompanying Anas to assist in the case of the South African hostages.
Given our relationship with the Yemeni government, the tribal leaders and the fact that Anas comes from a very influential tribe, and together with the goodwill we have built through assisting more than 10 000 families in several provinces in Yemen we are optimistic that significant headway can be made in locating the hostages. To proceed further once we reach that stage depends on the hostages family. We urgently, through the media, request them to contact us.