Kuwait stalling on Iraq captives

A leading mediator trying to secure the release of three Kenyans captured by an Iraqi group tells a newspaper their Kuwaiti employer is "foot-dragging".

    The prominent Kenyan paper says a ransom may be paid

    According to Kenyan newspaper The Nation, chief mediator Shaikh Hisham al-Dulaymi believes the Kuwaiti Gulf Link (KGL) transport company is responsible for the delay in the captives' release.

    "The Kuwaiti company is taking too long to decide on the kidnappers' demands," he told the paper.

    However, he pledged to resume talks once KGL agreed to fulfill the captors' demands.

    On 21 July, a previously unknown group calling itself "the Black Banners" announced on a videotape sent to Aljazeera that they had seized six foreigners in Iraq.

    "We announce we have captured three Kenyans, three Indians and one Egyptian. We tell the company to withdraw and close its offices in Iraq," said one of the masked men appearing on the videotape. 
       

    The captors also demanded that India, Kenya and Egypt withdraw their citizens from Iraq. None of the three countries are part of the US-led military force in Iraq but many of their nationals work as drivers and contractors.

     

    Delegation of wives

     

    Al-Dulaymi is hoping to lead a delegation of mediators, including the wives of the seized men, to Kuwait in the coming week.

     

    The paper said the wives had recently applied for and received their passports, enabling them to travel to the Middle East to help secure their husbands' release.

     

    There have been unconfirmed reports that KGL may pay "millions of dollars" to secure the release of its personnel in Iraq, the paper said.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.