Incident Summary:

04/21/1999: Twenty-two foreign envoys and foreign aid workers were kidnapped from Voinjama in northern Liberia for two hours by unidentified armed men from Guinea. They were released after soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) repelled the attack.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Specific Description Peter Van Leewen, a Dutch Ambassador visiting Liberia
Nationality of Target Netherlands
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity Government Official
Specific Description First Secretary of Norway
Nationality of Target Norway
Target Type: Government (Diplomatic)
Name of Entity European Union (EU)
Specific Description Stephan Devaux, EU Official
Nationality of Target
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 22
US Hostages 2
Hours of Kidnapping 2
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The total group kidnapped included Dutch ambassador Peter Van Leewen, the first secretary of Norway, European Union official Stephan Devaux, two private sector Americans, and seventeen foreign aid workers.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured Unknown
Number of U.S. Injured Unknown
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
“Liberia--Foreign Envoys Abducted in Border Attack Named,” Agence France Presse (World Service), April 21, 1999.
“Liberia Says Unidentified Armed Men Attack Border Town,” Agence France Presse (World Service), April 21, 1999.
“BBC: Liberia 'Claims' Armed Incursion From Guinea,” BBC World Service, April 21, 1999.