We got feedback last night, 17 March 2014, that Abyan tribal leaders finally met Al Qaeda, face-face

, after having to wait for a prolonged period. The meeting was tense and rushed with not much opportunity for dialogue in the 1 minutes granted but sufficient to glean necessary information. Al Qaeda still want the ransom money! they can"t make e#ceptions for a $outh African otherwise they will have to make e#ceptions for the three other hostages of different nationalities they were holding. There was no mention if the ransom is negotiable nor any comment on %ierre"s health. All they said is &if you give us the money you can have %ierre now&. The Abyan tribal leaders e#pressed the view, that in their analysis of the discussion that took place, Al Qaeda had &bought& the 'orkie couple from a group of kidnappers for a very handsome sum and it is probably for this reason that they will not waive the ransom issue as they need to recover what they have &lost&. There wasn"t sufficient time granted to discuss proof of life. We now, together with the tribal leaders, have to figure out the ne#t plan of action. (mtia) $ooliman

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