Geneva/Sanaa (ICRC) - Gunmen abducted two ICRC staff members on their way to work this morning in the capital, Sanaa. One of them was released unharmed a few hours later. The second colleague is a Tunisian national; she is still being held.
"We do not know who is behind this abduction, but I appeal to those responsible to release our colleague as soon as possible," said the ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, Antoine Grand. "It is encouraging that one of our staff members has already been released. Now, I hope, the second one will be freed. We are in Yemen to provide humanitarian help to the people. Actions like this, against humanitarian workers, only make it more difficult for us to provide the assistance the people so desperately need."
The ICRC has halted all field movements in Yemen for the time being.
There have been several security incidents involving the ICRC during the past few months. In September, two staff members were shot dead whilst travelling in a convoy between Saada and Sana'a.
The ICRC has been present in Yemen for more than fifty years working to assist people affected by the armed conflict. This assistance includes supplying urgently needed medicines to hospitals; visiting prisoners, rehabilitating water and electricity networks; and distributing food and water to people in the worst-affected areas. More than two million Yemenis have benefited from these services since the conflict started.
For further information, please contact:
Rima Kamal, ICRC Sana'a, tel: +967 1 213844 or + 967 73 607 1967
Adnan Hizam, ICRC Sana'a, tel: + 967 73 372 1659
Sitara Jabeen, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 78 or +41 79 536 92 31