A South African company which specializes in the removal land mines has reached out to the government of Senegal and to the United Nations to try to win the release of their 12 Senegalese employees who were kidnapped last weekend in Senegal's southern Casamance region.

Head of communications for Denel Vuyelwa Qinga said in a statement Monday that the negotiation for the release of the staff of Denel's demining company, Denel Mechem, "is being handled at the highest level and the company is confident that a solution will soon be found."

Denel Mechem has been deployed in Casamance since August 2012 to remove mines placed there by the MFDC rebel group. The MFDC has been leading a low-level rebellion in Casamance for over a decade.