Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Colombian rebels to free 6 hostages, urging swaps

Among FARC prisoners Marquez named as part of a possible swap was Simon Trinidad, the highest-ranking rebel prisoner, who was jailed in the United States for kidnapping three U.S. military contractors who were rescued in 2008.

BOGOTA (Reuters) – A Colombian FARC rebel commander named six military and police captives the group pledged to free in the coming weeks and proposed a constitutional change to allow the exchange of jailed guerrillas for hostages.

Ivan Marquez, in a video released on Wednesday, called the upcoming release “an act of peace.” The bearded commander, wearing olive-green fatigues and seated at a desk in what he said were the mountains of Colombia, is a member of the drug-funded group’s seven-member governing secretariat.

The video was the latest in a series of peace messages from the nearly 50-year-old Latin American insurgent group since troops killed its leader late last year, and as President Juan Manuel Santos comes under pressure to seek an end to the war.

The six captives are some of the 11 members of the armed forces that the FARC – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – has held for more than a decade. It also holds about 300 civilians.

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January 25, 2012 Posted by | Central America, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Held, Contractors Kidnapped | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Somalian pirates demand 50m kroner for demining workers

The Copenhagen Post   Friday November 4, 2011

Final ransom for the pair’s release likely to be reduced by 90 percent, piracy specialist says

Two workers from the Danish Demining Group taken hostage in Somalia last week will only be released for a 50 million kroner ransom, Ekstra Bladet newspaper reports.

The two workers, 60-year-old Dane Poul Hagen and 32-year-old American Jessica Buchanan were abducted a week last Tuesday in the Somalian town of Galkayo and have since been moved to the al-Shabaab controlled region of Galmudug.

The region’s deputy police chief, Abdi Hasan Gorey, visited the pirates to begin negotiations on Sunday.

“They are demanding between $9 million and $12 million,” Gorey told Ekstra Bladet.

Gorey added that the hostages were being treated well and were being fed camel meat and milk, the same food as the pirates were eating

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November 4, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, NGO's, Pirates, Somalia | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Indonesian army kills 4 pirates; 20 hostages freed

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian forces killed four Somali pirates in a gunfight after a ship and 20 Indonesian hostages held nearly two months were freed, the military said Tuesday.

About 35 pirates left the MV Sinar Kudus in groups Sunday after they received a requested ransom, Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said. A special joint military squad made sure no more pirates were still on the ship and then pursued the groups, catching up with and killing four pirates in an exchange of gunfire.

He refused to discuss the ransom, which media reported was between $3 million and $4.5 million.

The Sinar Kudus was seized in the Arabian Sea on March 16. Soon afterward, the pirates used the hijacked ship to attack another cargo ship nearby, but private security repelled them, the EU Naval Force said.

Somalia has not had a functioning government in two decades, and piracy has flourished off its coast. International confrontations with pirates have grown more violent, and countries have arrested and taken steps to prosecute suspects.

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May 4, 2011 Posted by | Pirates | , , , | Leave a comment

UK hostages ‘killed in Iraq’

News Middle East

Two more British hostages held in Iraq are “very likely” to have been killed by their captors, meaning four of a group of five Britons seized in May 2007 are now dead, the UK prime minister has said.

Gordon Brown said his government was “doing everything that we can” to gain the release of Peter Moore, the final hostage, whom he believed to still be alive.

The four hostages were all working as security guards for Moore, who was employed as a contractor in Iraq, when they were kidnapped two years ago in the Iraqi finance ministry by around 40 heavily-armed fighters posing as security personnel.

In a statement, Brown said: “I can confirm that on July 20, with great sadness, the government informed two families of those British men kidnapped in Iraq that Alan McMenemy and Alec MacLachlan, two of the three hostages still held, were very likely to be dead.

“This is the worst of news, and my thoughts are with the families, whom I hope will be given the privacy they need to deal with their grief.”

‘Hostages dead’

The bodies of two of the four victims were handed over by their captors to the Iraqi government in June.

Sami al-Askari, a legislator in the governing Shia Muslim alliance, who is close to Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, told the Reuters news agency that McMenemy and MacLachlan were definitely dead.

Askari said it was not clear when the bodies of the men would be returned.

“Two of them have been handed over and there are efforts being made by the government with the abductors to release [the bodies of] the others,” he said.

Askari said all four were killed at the same time and also said that Moore was believed to still be alive.

‘Deeply upset’

The families of the five men said in a statement they were distressed to hear the news that two more of them had been killed.

“We are all deeply upset and troubled to hear the reports that Alec and Alan have died in the hands of their captors, as well as Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell,” they said.

“This is a terrible ordeal for us all. We ask those holding our men for compassion when so many are working hard for reconciliation in Iraq and we continue to pray for the safe return of our men.”

Since the Britons were seized two years ago, several videos of them in captivity have emerged.

In February 2008, a video featuring Moore was aired by the Dubai-based Al Arabiya television in which he called on Brown to free nine Iraqis in return for the hostages’ freedom.

Britain joined the United States in invading Iraq in 2003.

July 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment