GENERAL

Australian Government warning

7 October The Australian Government issued a warning to citizens travelling to places where there is a high risk of kidnapping. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s kidnapping bulletin listed Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, eastern Malaysia (Sabah), southern Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and parts of North and West Africa as areas of particular concern. It added that kidnapping is also high in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia and Turkey. It suggested citizens reconsider their need to travel to these regions. Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said journalists and humanitarian workers are especially at risk. She added the government is not able to provide security protection.

The World's 12 Most Dangerous Cities

23 October The travel website Destinationtips.com listed the top twelve most dangerous cities in the world to visit. In order of danger they were: San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Fukushima, Japan; Caracas, Venezuela; Kiev, Ukraine; Acapulco, Mexico; New Orleans, USA; Cape Town, South Africa; Guatemala City, Zamboanga City, the Philippines; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Bogota, Colombia and Cairo, Egypt.

AFRICA

Cameroon

11 October The government announced that 27 hostages, including 10 Chinese construction workers and the wife of the vice prime minister, presumed to have been kidnapped by Boko Haram had been freed. Françoise Agnes Moukouri, wife of the vice prime minister, was among a group of 17 people kidnapped in July during an attack on the border town of Kolofota. The Chinese construction workers were kidnapped in May from their base in Waza, Far North region. The government did not give details of the conditions for the release of the hostages but has claimed it does not pay ransoms. A later media report claimed that the government had allegedly paid USD400,000 for the release of the hostages. It also alleged that the Chinese government had contributed towards the release of their 10 countrymen. In addition, the Cameroonian government are said to have agreed the release of four Boko Haram commanders held in prison and well as providing safe transfer of weapons and ammunition to the jihadi group.

Central African Republic (CAR)

12 October Mateusz Dziedzic, a Polish Catholic missionary, was kidnapped by eight armed men belonging to a rebel group known as the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC). The missionary was kidnapped during the night in the town of Baboua. The kidnappers are demanding the release of their leader, Abdoulaye Miskine, who is being held in prison in Cameroon. It was later reported that the FDPC had tried to kidnap another missionary, Leszek Zielinski, and are thought to have kidnapped 12 people in the CAR and eight in Cameroon in the past.

Libya

5 October David Bolam (63), a British citizen who was working as vice-principal of the International School in Benghazi, was freed by his kidnappers. He was kidnapped in May while on a shopping trip according to reports. He had appeared in an online video on 28 August appealing to British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to secure his release. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said that they did not comment on the detail of hostage cases. It is thought that his release was secured by local political factions and that money changed hands. The victim’s family denied that any ransom had been paid. The British government denied that it had been involved in the negotiations but it was reportedly kept informed of developments by Libyan sources.

Mozambique

1 October The Portuguese Embassy in Maputo issued a warning on their website that included: given the current security situation in Maputo where abductions are concentrated, it is recommended that travellers exercise “utmost caution” when travelling. It goes on to provide security advice.

3 October A Mozambican of Portuguese decent was released by his kidnappers after being held for one and a half months, one of the longest recorded kidnapping incidents in the country. The unnamed man (20) was kidnapped during the day in a shopping centre in Matola. No details were provided about the circumstances of the victim’s release. There have been ten cases of kidnapping of Portuguese in Mozambique over the past two years.

6 October Mohammed Ali Ahmed, the son of the owner of one of the largest supermarkets in Maputo, the Mica Group, was kidnapped by four gunmen on Avenida Joaquim Chissano, as he left the supermarket with his father. According to eye witness reports, the kidnappers were waiting in the parking lot of the supermarket. The victim spotted them and tried to escape but was overpowered and dragged to the kidnappers’ car. The victim was rescued during a police operation during the early hours of 8 October when a woman, suspected to be a member of the kidnapping gang, led the police to a residence in the Bunhica district of Matola near Maputo. After an exchange of shots, three suspected kidnappers were captured and two escaped.

12 October Sergio Sunil (32), the brother of the owner of MozComputers, was kidnapped from outside his apartment in downtown Maputo. The victim was released after being held for almost two weeks. The circumstances surrounding his release were not disclosed.

22 October Rayma Ayuba was kidnapped around midday on Avenida Milagre Mabote, Maputo. According to eye witness reports the victim was pulled by her hair out of the Mercedes Benz she was driving by two armed men who forced her into a 4x4 before speeding away. The victim is said to be related to the Ayob family the owners of Commercial Ayob. This is the third reported kidnapping of a family member in 2014.

Nigeria

1 October The mother of Hon. Remmy Hassan, the former deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly for Ogun State, was kidnapped at around 9:00pm from her residence at Omu-ljebi. At the time of the report, the kidnappers had not contacted the family.

4 October Matthew Agbason, Chairman of the Independent Oil Marketers in Benue State, was kidnapped from in front of his Mkar, Gboko, residence when gunmen stopped the vehicle he was driving and took him away in it. The kidnappers later contacted his family and made a ransom demand of N15 million (USD92,300). According to a newspaper report, this is the second time the victim has been kidnapped. He was kidnapped last year while returning from a funeral in his village in the east of the country. It is understood a ransom payment of an undisclosed amount was made by the family for his release on that occasion.

4 October Engineer Mozilla Agara (64), a former employee of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and younger brother of the paramount ruler of Koklokuma Kingdom, was kidnapped by about five armed men disguised as politicians, from his residence in Koklokuma/Opokuma local government council area, Bayelsa State. According to police reports, a police patrol chased the fleeing kidnappers to the Odi waterfront where they escaped with their hostage in a waiting speedboat.

7 October Intelligence experts told a shipping conference in Copenhagen that piracy will increase in the Gulf of Guinea as Nigeria prepares for an election in February 2015. Money paid as ransoms will be used into campaign financing. Two “mother ships” belonging to pirates are said to be located just south of Nigeria and five crew members are known to be held hostage on shore.

7 October Hussaini Biriri (80), the Waziri of Jajare, was kidnapped at around 11:00pm from his palace in Biriri town, Yobe state, by six gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram who burst into his residence. He was forcefully bundled into his personal vehicle and driven away along the Damaturu-Gashua road.

11 October Okey Wali, the immediate past president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), was kidnapped in Port Harcourt at about 9:00pm by unknown persons.

14 October Professor Olusoga Olsanya, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen while returning from invigilating exams. The incident occurred along the Ijebu Ode-Ore-Benin expressway as he was travelling from Abeokuta.

21 October Osio Agama, sister of Diezani Alsion-Madueke, Petroleum Minister, was kidnapped by gunmen as she approached her car in the evening in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is the latest kidnapping of a member of a prominent political family

23 October Despite the declaration of a ceasefire and efforts by the government to negotiate the release of over 200 Chibok schoolgirls who were kidnapped in April, about 60 women have been reported kidnapped by Boko Haram from Waga Mangoro and Garta villages in Madagali Local Government Area, Adamawa State.

26 October Iqbal Qamarh (57), a foreigner who is a manager with Ricks Rock Construction Company, and Iliya Makeri, a Nigerian worker with the same company, were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Nasarawa State. The company is involved in road projects in the state. The kidnappers forced their way into a company site in Wamba Local Government Area and kidnapped the two men. A demand of N50 million (USD308,000) has been received.

27 October Security sources reported that pirates had launched a number of attacks in the creeks of the Niger Delta during the past week which resulted in the killing of three policemen and the kidnapping of at least nine people. Most of those kidnapped were Nigerians working in the oil industry. The latest incident was an attack on police escorting a barge operated by Italian oil company ENI along the Santa Barbara River.

27 October Gunmen attacked the vehicles of a German worker and a sub-contractor for Julius Berger Nigeria, a construction company, in Ogun State, killing one and kidnapping the other. The men were travelling without their security escorts. On 30 October the company announced that the kidnappers had freed the German hostage.

28 October German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told a news conference in Abuja that a German national had been kidnapped in northern Nigeria,. He added there was no more news about the incident.

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