Franco-Tunisian ICRC hostage in Yemen freed and in Oman

Nourane Houas, a staffer with the ICRC's humanitarian protection programme in Yemen, was abducted in the Huthi rebel-held capital Sanaa in December 2015.

Franco-Tunisian ICRC hostage in Yemen freed and in Oman

World Bulletin / News Desk

A female Franco-Tunisian Red Cross worker kidnapped in Yemen almost a year ago was freed on Monday and taken to Muscat, officials in Oman and Switzerland said.

The Omani foreign ministry said her release had been secured "at the request of the French authorities, the instructions of Sultan Qaboos and in coordination with Yemeni parties" which it did not identify.

"Nourane Houas, an ICRC staff member who was abducted late last year in Sanaa, has been released and is currently in Muscat," the ICRC in Geneva said in a statement.

On her arrival in Muscat, Houas thanked "the sultanate, without which, (her) release would not have happened", according to Oman's official news agency ONA.

French President Francois Hollande hailed Houas's courage and expressed "his gratitude to all those who brought about a happy end to this ordeal," in a statement released by his office.

Houas was seized along with a Yemeni employee who was released several hours later.

The pair had been heading to work in Sanaa which is under the control of the Shiite rebels.

"We are relieved and thankful that Nourane is now back with us, safe and sound," said the ICRC head of delegation in Yemen, Alexandre Faite.

"Her abduction was a terrible ordeal for her, as well as for her family, friends and colleagues. And it has obviously dealt a real blow to our humanitarian work in Yemen."

"It has taken a lot of effort, inside and outside Yemen and over many months, but finally we have a positive result," said Faite.

Tunisia's foreign ministry published a statement on its Facebook page expressing "profound relief" at Houas's release and thanking those involved.

Last Mod: 04 Ekim 2016, 10:54
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