A month-old video of kidnapped Frenchwoman Isabelle Prime has been verified by the French government as genuine, reports said Monday. The 21-second video, posted on YouTube, shows Prime dressed in black and sitting on the ground, and appealing to French President Francois Hollande and Yemeni leader Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi for help, Agence France-Presse reported.
The video's existence was first reported by a local regional daily Ouest-France, which also later reportedly said that the French government had confirmed the video to be authentic. Prime and her Yemeni translator, Shereen Makkaoui, were kidnapped in February from the capital Sanaa, when they were headed to work. Prime was reportedly working as a consultant on a World Bank-funded project before she was abducted. The identity of her kidnappers is not clear, the Associated Press reported.
"Mr Hollande and Mr Hadi, my name is Isabelle, I've been kidnapped 10 weeks ago in Yemen, in Sanaa. Please bring me to France fast because I'm really, really tired,” Prime says in the video, according to Reuters, adding: "I tried to kill myself several times because I know you will not cooperate and I totally understand."
Makkaoui was reportedly released in March, however Prime is still being held captive by the kidnappers, according to reports. Romain Nadal, the French foreign ministry’s spokesman said that the French government will meet Prime’s family on Tuesday, AP reported.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, which operates out of Yemen, is one of the group's most active arms, but it's not clear if the group was involved in the kidnapping. Yemen has been rocked by conflict since Shia Houthi rebels launched an offensive against Hadi's government, forcing him to flee to Saudi Arabia in March.