Two Indonesians held hostage by Abu Sayyaf return home

Two Indonesians held hostage by Abu Sayyaf return home


Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Two Indonesian fishermen held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu, South Philippines, have been returned to their country of origin on Tuesday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi received the two fishermen -- La Utu bin Raali and La Hadi bin La Edi -- at her office on Tuesday morning.

"The release symbolizes the harmonious partnership among related government institutions, especially the TNI (Indonesian National Armed Force) and BIN (National Intelligence Agency)," Marsudi noted in a press release received here on Tuesday.

Raali and Edi were freed by the Abu Sayyaf group on Friday (Jan 19).

The two fishermen were then united with their wives, who were brought by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.

Raali and Edi, both from the Wakatobi District of Southeast Sulawesi Province, worked as fishermen in Sabah.

They were kidnapped from two different fishing vessels on November 5, 2016, in the Kertam waters of Sabah, Malaysia.

On November 8, 2016, three days after the kidnapping occurred, Indonesian Minister Marsudi undertook a visit to Sandakan Port of Sabah, Malaysia, to meet with the wives of the two Indonesian fishermen, who were held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group along with hundreds of other Indonesian fishermen.

During her visit, Minister Marsudi conveyed the Indonesian government`s commitment to releasing the two fishermen.

Since 2016, as many as 32 Indonesians have been kidnapped in South Philippines.

As many as 29 kidnapped Indonesians, including Raali and Edi, have been released by different groups in South Philippines.

The Indonesian government will continue to make efforts to facilitate the release of the remaining three Indonesian hostages.