Ambassador to help South Africans kidnapped in Yemen

2013-05-29 13:11

South Africa’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia is in Yemen to try and secure the release of two South Africans kidnapped in the town of Taiz, the international relations department has said.

“The ambassador and the team are in the region to engage with local authorities and to try to help the two South African citizens,” spokesperson Clayson Monyela said today.

Ambassador Sadiq Jaffer flew from Saudi Arabia to Yemen last night. The Saudi Arabian embassy is accredited to Yemen, Monyela said.

The two, a man and a woman, were believed to have been involved in the development of the hotel from which they were kidnapped, Monyela said.

“We have not received any further development on the situation yet. Information will be made available as soon as we get new information,” said Monyela.

Previously, French news agency AFP quoted an official as saying the kidnappers came from the Janadiyah area, 35km east of Taiz.

The official told AFP the kidnappers were loyal to a local chief, who was involved in a long-running dispute with authorities about a plot of land, and that it was possible the tourists were being used for bargaining.

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