Tribal Efforts Fail to Release UN Hostages in Abyan
A local mediation committee in Abyan failed to release UN officials as al-Qaeda raised its demands in exchange for their release. Amid mutual accusations between “legitimacy” factions, of sponsoring the organization, which heralds with new confrontations.
Tribal sources in Mudiyah reported that Al-Qaeda is detaining six employees, including the security and safety representatives at the United Nations office in Aden, along with a number of Yemeni recruits, the local mediators handed over a long list of detained officers and leaders and demanded their release at first.
The organization demanded that its members be placed on the list of expected prisoner exchanges between “Houthis” and “legitimacy,” given that they were part of coalition factions… The response of UN which earlier offered a ransom to the organization ” but in vain”, was not yet known.
Al-Qaeda threatened to kill the abductees, four Yemenis and a Bulgarian, if their demands were not met, the sources said.
The kidnapping, which took place in disputed areas between STC and Hadi forces, cast a shadow over the stressful situation, in the stronghold of “legitimacy’s head”, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
The parties to the conflict within the “legitimacy” exchanged accusations of supporting and sponsoring Al-Qaeda, in addition to providing a fertile environment for its return, Although the organization, which suffers from external and internal polarization, is divided between the two sides and is fighting on their side.
On 11 February, five UN staff members, (four Yemenis and a Bulgarian) were abducted in an area between the Lawdar and Mudiyah districts in central Abyan province, while on their way to the city of Aden coming from Shabwah province, eastern Yemen.