3 Aid Workers Feared Kidnapped in Yemen

A street lined with various shops in Sana'a, Yemen. Three French aid workers are feared to have been kidnapped in the country. Photo by: Obi Anyadike / IRIN

Three French aid workers are feared to have been kidnapped in Yemen after failing to return to their residence from their office for lunch on Saturday (May 28).

The three, a man and two women, are employees of Triangle Generation Humanitaire, an aid organization based in Lyon, France. The group said it is considering evacuating its other international workers out of Yemen in light of the three staffers’ disappearance.

“We are looking at repatriating a large number of our team on the ground,” Agence France-Presse quotes Christian Lombard, co-director of the aid group, which has been working on water and agricultural projects in Yemen since 1998.

A Yemeni official, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the three were most likely kidnapped. Lombard recognized the possibility but added that there is “no information to confirm that.”

The kidnapping of foreigners by Yemeni tribesmen is common, according to AFP. The tribes use the abduction as a tactic to force officials into making concessions, the news agency notes, adding that more than 200 foreigners have been abducted in the country in the past 15 years, with most later released unharmed.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.