Middle East Strongman Hastens Own Exit

General Parvez Amra Caught on Video Admitting to Kidnapping of Chinese Nationals; Russian Envoys Expelled

Exclusive to Find Magazine Online – A video featuring the head of the Kingdom of Koman’s ruling military regime, General Parvez Amra, in which he admits to arranging the recent kidnapping of Chinese nationals in the country has gone viral and placed the government’s legitimacy in serious jeopardy. Amra’s desire to align himself with Russian oil interests—which may have involved kickbacks to himself—appear to have backfired and jeopardized an already tenuous hold on his regime.

Video linkClick here to view the video

According to Amra’s statements in the video, the Chinese nationals—employees of that country’s state run oil company—were kidnapped at the behest of representatives from competing oil interests in Russia to undermine a recent agreement negotiated by the Komani Oil Ministry that would have brought Chinese investment into the country.

Amra is currently in hiding and his government—already under immense pressure due to a resurgent insurgent coalition that has gained renewed strength in recent months due to similar revolutions sweeping the region—has become more tenuous.

The tiny middle eastern country of Koman has been in a state of near civil war for decades. Once a Cold War battleground, with the U.S. supporting the government and the Eastern Bloc providing support for the insurgents, Amra was once a staunch ally of the U.S., who established military rule in the country after forcing a bloodless coup that sent the ineffectual Komani royal family into exile.

Though the U.S. had cooled on its support of Amra in recent years and begun reaching out to moderate elements in the insurgent leadership, Amra boosted his regime’s position by strategically repositioning himself as an ally in the war on terrorism. However, as the so-called “Jasmine revolution” began to overtake the region, the U.S. again began re-evaluating its relationship with the military dictator, finally withdrawing its support for Amra earlier in the year.

The withdrawal of U.S. support meant the end of military aid and equipment, and technical expertise. The country hoped to make up for the shortfall by attracting Chinese—and Russian—investment. Amra’s attempt to curry favor with the Russians, however, by kidnapping the Chinese nationals to force China to question the benefits of investing in the country may have backfired and raised questions about his legitimacy and fitness to remain in power.