Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Pakistan: kidnapped ICRC delegate Khalil Rasjed Dale murdered

Captive British aid worker killed in Pakistan

 

Pakistani security officials stand next to covered body of British Red Cross worker Khalil Rasjed Dale at the site in Quetta, Pakistan on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said. Photo: Arshad Butt / AP

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — The body of a British Red Cross worker held captive in Pakistan since January was found in an orchard Sunday, his throat slit and a note attached to his body saying he was killed because no ransom was paid, police said.

Khalil Rasjed Dale, 60, was managing a health program in the city of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan when armed men seized him from a street close to his office. The identities of his captors are unknown, but the region is home to separatist and Islamist militants who have kidnapped for ransom before.

The director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross condemned the “barbaric act.”

“All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends,” said Yves Daccord.

Dale’s throat had been slit, according to Safdar Hussain, a doctor who examined the body.

Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob said the note attached to it read: “This is the body of Khalil who we have slaughtered for not paying a ransom amount.”

Militants and criminal gangs often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis and less commonly, foreigners.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned Dale’s killing, and said “tireless efforts” had been under way to secure his release after he was kidnapped

Islamabad/Geneva – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of its staff member Khalil Rasjed Dale.

The ICRC has now received confirmation that Khalil, a 60-year-old health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan, was murdered almost four months after his kidnapping.

“The ICRC condemns in the strongest possible terms this barbaric act,” said Director-General Yves Daccord. “All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.”

“We are devastated,” said Yves Daccord. ‘’Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.”

Khalil worked for the ICRC and the British Red Cross for many years, carrying out assignments in Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He had been working as a health-programme manager in Quetta/Balochistan for almost a year. At about 1 p.m. on 5 January 2012, he was abducted by unidentified armed men while returning home from work.

The ICRC has been active in Pakistan since 1947, providing humanitarian services in the fields of health-care, in particular physical rehabilitation, including in Balochistan.

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2 German tourists kidnapped in Ethiopia released, official says

AP at the Canadian Press  March 8, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – An Ethiopian official says two German tourists who were kidnapped during an attack by gunmen in January have been released.

Ethiopia’s foreign ministry spokesman Dina Mufti said the Germans were freed from kidnappers who were associated with the country’s archrival, Eritrea.

He denied claims two days ago by a rebel group from Ethiopia’s northern Afar region that the group had released the tourists.

Dina said he couldn’t give any further details about the Germans’ release, including their health status or when they were freed.

The German Foreign Ministry had had no immediate comment.

Five tourists were killed and two wounded in the Jan. 18 attack in Ethiopia’s arid north

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March 8, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Eritrea | , , , | Leave a comment

Eritrea opposition figure feared abducted in Sudan

AFP  February 16, 2012

An Eritrean opposition party official has been missing for two days in eastern Sudan and there are fears he may have been kidnapped by Asmara’s security agents, the party alleged on Thursday.

Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a member of the People’s Democratic Party central council, left his house in Kassala town at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) on Tuesday and has not been seen since, the party said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Sudanese police and the Kassala hospitals had no word on him, it said.

“The big fear prevailing in Kassala is that he might have been kidnapped by security agents of the Eritrean regime, who enjoy free mobility in the region,” it said.

Eastern Sudan is home to tens of thousands of ethnic Eritreans

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February 16, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Eritrea, Sudan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

29 Chinese Workers Captured in Sudan

China Digital Times  January 29, 2012

Sudanese claimed on Sunday that they abducted 29 Chinese road workers after a battle between the rebels and the Sudanese army, though the army claims the rebels attacked the workers’ compound. From Reuters:

The army has been fighting rebels of the SPLM-N in South Kordofan bordering newly independent South since June. Fighting spread to the northern Blue Nile state in September.

“We are holding 29 Chinese workers after a battle with the army yesterday,” a spokesman for the SPLM-N said. “They are in good health. We are holding them for their own safety because the army was trying to strike again.”

The army said rebels had attacked the compound of a Chinese construction company operating in the area between the towns of Abbasiya and Rashad in the north of the state and captured 70 civilians.

“Most of them are Chinese. They (the rebels) are targeting civilians,” said army spokesman Sawarmi Khalid Saad.

Chinese state media reported on Monday that all contact had been lost with the workers, while Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party condemned the attack and a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the two sides had begun emergency procedures. , the employer of the abducted Chinese nationals, told Xinhua News that it had launched its own emergency response:

January 30, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Safety and Security Issues, Sudan | , , , , | Leave a comment

British nurse kidnapped in volatile Pakistan city of Quetta

Khalil Dale, a British nurse, was kidnapped in one of the most volatile areas of Pakistan when he was seized by gunmen after visiting a local hospital.

The Telegraph   January 5, 2012

Mr Dale, a veteran aid worker who served as health programme manager for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was abducted in Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province in south-western Pakistan.

This vast area, bordering both Afghanistan and Iran, endures a nationalist insurgency waged against Pakistan’s central government and also serves as a base for senior Taliban commanders.

The leadership council of the Afghan Taliban, known as the “Quetta Shura”, is thought to meet in the city.

Mr Dale, 60, has been based in Quetta since last February. Along with a driver and a local doctor, he was returning to his residence in a closely guarded area of the city when seven or eight armed men in a jeep blocked his vehicle.

“An armed man got out, pointed a gun at the driver and took his keys,” said Nazir Kurd, a senior police official in Quetta. “He then forced Dale at gunpoint into his car.”

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January 5, 2012 Posted by | Contractors Kidnapped, NGO's, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | 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

3 aid workers kidnapped in Somalia, Danish Demining group says

(CNN) Three aid workers — an American woman, a Danish man and a Somali man — have been kidnapped in Somalia, the Danish Demining Group said Tuesday.

Investigations are under way to find out what has happened to the three staff members, the group, which is part of the Danish Refugee Council, said in an online statement.

“We are keeping close contact with the family members, who are deeply concerned, just as we are,” said Ann Mary Olsen, head of the Danish Refugee Council’s international department.

The three workers were kidnapped by gunmen after visiting humanitarian projects, the council said. No shots were fired during the kidnapping, it said.

“The staff members are highly experienced and trained to work in high-risk places, such as Somalia,” Olsen added.

Denmark’s foreign minister, Villy Sovndal, told CNN’s Danish affiliate TV2 the situation is “very serious.”

“Our Africa office here at the Foreign Ministry is collecting information on what has happened. We are following it minute by minute. We are doing everything we can,” he said.

“We do not negotiate with kidnappers, but we offer all help and support that we can. But what this help will constitute we can’t say until we get all the facts on what has happened.”

Villads Zahle, head of press for the council, told CNN the three were working for the Danish Demining Group in northern Galkayo, considered part of Somalia’s Puntland province, at the time of the abduction.

The group does “humanitarian demining,” Zahle said, aimed at making civilians safe from landmines and unexploded ordnance.

The news that the workers were missing was confirmed by the council’s office in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, he added.

All Danish Refugee Group activities in the area have been temporarily suspended, the council’s online statement said.

Several high-profile abductions of foreigners have occurred in recent weeks in Kenya, close to the border with largely lawless Somalia. Those kidnappings have been blamed on the Somali Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab

October 26, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Demining, Explosive Remnants of War, Landmines, Safety and Security Issues, Somalia | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kidnapped Swiss couple appear in video, say they risk being killed by Taliban

Associated Press at The Star  October 25, 2011

ISLAMABAD—Two Swiss tourists held by the Pakistani Taliban have appeared in a video, saying their captors are threatening to kill them.

Swiss couple Olivier David Och and Daniela Widmer are shown holding a newspaper dated Sept. 15 with armed, masked men behind them.

The pair are being held in northwest Pakistan close to the Afghan border. They were seized in July in nearby Baluchistan province.

The video was given to the Associated Press on Tuesday by a local resident who is purportedly in contact with the militants. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.

Militants often kidnap wealthy Pakistanis and less commonly foreigners. Large ransoms are often paid.

October 25, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abducted Afghan contractors found dead

SIX of nine Afghans employed by a local US-contracted building company and kidnapped earlier this week were found shot dead today.

AFP at the Herald Sun September 11, 2011

The six were among a group taken hostage on Tuesday in Logar province in the south of the war-torn country. The fate of three others kidnapped at the same time remains unknown, Abdul Khalil Kamal, governor of Charkh district said.

“Six Afghan civilian workers were found dead this morning in Charkh district of Logar province,” he said, adding that they were killed overnight and their bodies were left along the roadside in two separate areas.

The nine Afghans were kidnapped on September 6 by the Taliban while they were on their way to work for a local construction company subcontracted by the US army, Mr Kamal said, without giving the name of the company.

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September 10, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractors Kidnapped, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Taliban | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistani Taliban say they have Swiss tourists

By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated PressJuly 29, 2011

SHAWAL, Pakistan (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban have custody of two kidnapped Swiss tourists and will free them if the U.S. releases a female Pakistani scientist convicted of trying to kill Americans, the No. 2 commander of the militant group told The Associated Press.

Gunmen abducted the man and woman as they traveled in the southwestern Baluchistan province earlier this month.

Authorities later said the two were taken to South Waziristan, a northwestern tribal region that borders Afghanistan and has been a hotbed of Pakistani Taliban activity for years.

Many locals and several foreigners have been kidnapped by militants in the border region over the past eight years. Some have been killed, while others have been released or their fate is unknown, often after ransoms have been paid.

The commander, Waliur Rehman, spoke to an AP reporter on Thursday in the Shawal area of South Waziristan. He said his group ordered the kidnapping in a bid to gain freedom for Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated neuroscience specialist and mother of three who is serving 86 years in an American jail for trying to shoot U.S. security officials in Afghanistan.

Rehman said that if Siddiqui is not freed, a Taliban court will decide their fate. He did not give any deadlines.

“We have not tortured this couple, and we have no such intention,” he added.

Officials at the Swiss and U.S. embassies in Islamabad declined to comment Friday on Rehman’s demand.

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July 29, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eritrea accuses Britons of espionage, terrorism

Britain has in the past called for “punishment” of Asmara for its suspected support of Islamist insurgents in Somalia. The United Nations imposed sanctions on Eritrea in late 2009.

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Eritrea has accused four British nationals it detained late last year of espionage, terrorism and using one of its islands as a depot for arms.The four, who work for a British maritime security firm, were arrested by Eritrean authorities on December 24 over a payment dispute.

A Foreign Ministry report obtained by Reuters on Thursday said further investigation found them to be in possession of “countless amounts” of arms.

The accused work for the UK-based Protection Vessels International (PVI) which says they were en route to provide security for ships in a region where piracy is rife.

It said the four were forced to make an unscheduled stop in Eritrea due to “rough weather” and acknowledged its staff had “mishandled the situation.”

The incident has worsened already frosty relations between Eritrea and Britain, whom Asmara accuses of siding with arch-foe Ethiopia along with the United States. The Red Sea state is at loggerheads with its southern neighbour over a border dispute.  Please read the entire story here

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Legal Jurisdictions, Pirates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hungarian UN Employee Freed in Sudan’s Darfur Province

Earthtimes.org via undpi.org
Nairobi/Khartoum – A Hungarian citizen working for the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s restive Darfur province has been released after 90 days in captivity, the UN said.
The mission, known as UNAMID, said in a statement that the man appeared to be in good health after his release on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are thankful to have our colleague back with us, safe and sound,” said UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari.
Armed men took the Hungarian and two colleagues from their home in the North Darfur town of El Fasher on October 7, although the others managed to escape from the moving vehicle they were bundled into.
The release came as “the result of the efforts of the Sudanese authorities,” UNAMID said.
Kidnappings of aid workers and peacekeepers for ransom are common in Darfur, which has been plagued by conflict and insecurity since 2003, when mainly non-Arab tribesmen took up arms against what they called decades of neglect and discrimination by Khartoum.
The UN estimates 300,000 people have died and almost 3 million have been displaced as a result of the conflict, while Khartoum puts the death toll at 10,000.
UNAMID said ten peacekeepers in total have been abducted since the mission began in 2008, but it said it would not be “deterred by such acts of violence and criminal activities against its peacekeepers.”   Please see the original here

January 6, 2011 Posted by | Africa, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kidnappers release four UN South African peacekeepers in Darfur

Earthtimes April 26

New York – Four United Nations peacekeepers from South Africa were released Monday after 16 days in captivity in Sudan’s Darfur region, the UN said.The four police advisers, two women and two men, in the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) were abducted in Nyala on April 11. They underwent medical examinations and were flown back to their home country, the UN said.Ibrahim Gambari, the UNAMID special representative, was in Nyala to greet the four peacekeepers.”We are grateful to have our colleagues back with us,” Gambari said in a statement published at UN headquarters in New York. He said the release was made possible thanks to the intervention of the Khartoum government with the “local authorities” in southern Darfur. The UN did not say who the kidnappers were.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | Africa, Civilian Contractors | , , , | Leave a comment