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World: Aid Workers Kidnapped 2018

Source: Insecurity Insight
Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

Kidnapping data trends

• The number of kidnappings and individual aid workers who were kidnapped peaked in April 2018. July, August and September also recorded high numbers of kidnappings.

• Between February and May, 36 aid workers were kidnapped while travelling in Central and Western Equatoria states in South Sudan. Many incidents occurred when agencies entered previously inaccessible areas where there have been reports of conflict parties accusing aid workers of spying.

• During July and August, 20 aid workers were kidnapped in eastern DRC by armed groups that included the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda and Mai-Mai.

• In September, 13 Yemeni aid workers were kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants in Dhale governorate, Yemen. They were freed after local tribal leaders negotiated their release.

• 71 aid workers in Tanzania, Mali, Yemen and South Sudan were released following their abduction, while seven aid workers were killed or tortured by their abductors while in captivity in Afghanistan, CAR, the DRC and Nigeria.

• In the DRC, unidentified gunmen kidnapped three aid workers in North Kivu, two of whom were found dead the following day, while the third was released after two days. In Afghanistan, opposition forces kidnapped and killed one aid worker in Kunduz. In Nigeria, ISIS militants executed two aid workers following their abduction; three others were killed in the initial attack and one aid worker remains in captivity. In CAR, two local aid workers were abducted and tortured allegedly by anti-Balaka fighters while providing vaccinations in Haute-Kotto prefecture.

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• Six aid workers were held hostage in Tanzania and Uganda. In Tanzania, casual labourers held five aid workers hostage to enforce their demands for payment for work completed. All were released after several hours of negotiations.

• Ransom demands were made for the release of six aid workers in CAR and the DRC. Five Congolese aid workers were abducted by armed men while travelling in the DRC. Two others were kidnapped and assaulted in the attack, but were released unconditionally. One aid worker was held for three days by members of the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique in CAR. The aid worker was released after a ransom was paid; it is not clear who paid the ransom.

• Four aid workers were the victims of 'express kidnappings' in Kenya, Peru and Tanzania and forced to withdraw money from ATMs for their release. The aid worker in Kenya was also drugged and the one in Peru was physically assaulted.

• Nearly 50% of kidnapped aid workers are either still in captivity or their status is unknown. Seven are reported as missing in the DRC, Burkina Faso, Cambodia and Guatemala. The lack of precise information on what happened to aid workers following their abduction in Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria means that our overall understanding of the kidnapping threats facing aid workers in these countries remains incomplete.

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