In the aftermath of the September 28th bomb attack on Maldive President Abudullah Yameen, two security personnel have been arrested.
Yameen was unhurt during the attack, which took place on his speedboat during its approach to the capital city Male. However, his wife was injured along with two aides.
Early suspicions were that the explosion was due to a mechanical failure, but this was later disproved by the U.S. FBI, Saudi Arabia and Australia, according to cabinet member Mohamed Hussain Shareef.
Shareef commented on the attacks, “They are now telling me that they have enough evidence to believe that it is likely to have been an attempt on the president’s life. Authorities have arrested two people… in line of command who had access to the vessel.”
Yameen’s rise to power has been viewed with suspicion by the U.S. and Amnesty International, with one point of contention centered on the March sentencing of the previous president, Mohamed Nasheed, to 13 years in jail. Political unrest in recent years has impacted the island nation’s status as a popular tourist destination.
Nasheed claims that he was forced to resign the presidency “at gunpoint” by a network of Gayoom loyalists within the country. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held the presidency from 1978 to 2008, weathering three attempts to overthrow him, as well as a 2008 assassination attempt. During his tenure, Gayoom was accused by international human rights groups of terrorizing and imprisoning political dissidents.
The United Nations recently ruled Nasheed’s jailing illegal, citing the rushed nature of his trial. It is also suspected that he was jailed due to one of his last actions as president, the 2012 arrest of a supposedly corrupt judge.
Following Nasheed’s victory in court on Monday, his lawyers have called for “targeted sanctions” to be placed on the Maldives government. A member of Nasheed’s counsel, Amal Clooney, stated that tourists should also consider boycotting the country if it does not respond to international pressure.