I was instructed to support the response to another a kidnapping of a ship’s crew in a country plagued by endemic hostage taking. In the weeks preceding this instruction, the local authorities had started to obstruct the negotiated release of hostages by arresting the people deployed to carry out the physical handover of hostages at the end of negotiations.
This therefore presented a classic challenge of how to reconcile competing interests to secure safe, humanitarian outcomes. In particular, it required carefully re-calibrated arrangements based on a detailed understanding of the situation and in-depth experience of the country.
Fortunately, this led to the quick, safe recovery and unhindered repatriation of the hostages to their families.