Jennifer M. Haralambides
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A French security adviser seized by Islamist militants in Somalia discloses the details of how he escaped from his captors with out a struggle while they slept.
Marc Aubriere and his colleague were kidnapped from the Sahafi Hotel on July 14th in Mogadishu last month. They were in Africa as part of a team who stationed to train troops from the country’s United Nations-backed interim government. This government is battling Islamist rebels for control of the country.
He escaped while his captors, Hizbul-Islam rebels, slept. Rumors surrounded the escape claiming that Aubriere killed three militants as he fled, although he denies the claims. France’s foreign ministry also denies that any of the rebels were killed during the escape.
“I escaped at midnight last night. The guards were very tired and sleepy. I didn’t kill anyone or injur anyone while escaping,” said Aubriere.
Although French sources claim that France did not pay a ransom for Aubriere’s release, the reports are conflicting. Aubriere said that he was treated fairly while he was being held by his captors.
The other man who was captured with Aubriere is still being held by a different Islamist faction, the al-Shabab. Both groups control much of southern Somalia, although sources analysts say that the al-Shabab is notorious for being the more radical of the two groups. Both groups have links to al-Qaeda.
For more information, please see:
ABC.com – Hostage Escapes from Somali Militants – 26 August 2009
BBC – Somalia Hostage Tells of Escape – 26 August 2009
ITN – French Hostage Tells of Escape – 26 August 2009
VOA – French Hostage Freed in Somalia – 26 August 2009