SANA’A, 8 November 2014 – The United Nation Office in Sana’a announced the release of its long abducted employee in Yemen James Massaquoi. Massaquoi Flies back home tonight at a low profile and strict security procedures for his safety. The UN office issues statement says the colleagues at the United Nations are delighted that James Massaquoi, who was abducted in Yemen in October 2013, has today been released and is safe and well.
James is a water engineer who has been working in Yemen to help provide water and sanitation services in order to improve the health of local children. We all are proud of the work James has been doing and look forward to his return to work for children once he has spent much-needed time with his family and friends.
“We thank the Government of Yemen and tribal leaders, including Mr Abdallah Saleh Hafrien, who have supported efforts to bring about his safe release and we ask that he now be allowed privacy as he enjoys his reunion with his family” end the statement.
On October 15th, 2014, Yemen UNICEF office renews its repeated calls for the immediate release of its staff member. More than one year ago, Engineer James Conrad Massaquoi, an international staff member, was kidnapped in Sana’a on Sunday 6th October 2013, by unknown armed men.
“We are gravely concerned about James. His wife and young children are really distressed about his continued absence,” said Julien Harneis, UNICEF Representative”.
James started working with UNICEF Yemen on 6 February 2013 to improve water and sanitation for vulnerable communities. Exactly eight months later, on 6 October, 2013 he was abducted from Sana’a Airport road on his way to Hodeida to see how some of that work was going. He has now been held for over a third longer than the time he was actively working with the children of Yemen.
“In light of the duration of James’ captivity, now entering its second year, UNICEF again calls on the authorities of Yemen, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, friendly nations and all goodwill Yemenis to ensure his the speedy and safe return”, Harneis added.
Any amount of time in captivity is too long, but James’ family have been unable to hear his voice, let alone see him, for over a year.