After 18 days Saudi still hostage [Archives:2005/812/Front Page]

January 31 2005

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Almost three weeks after taking him, armed tribesmen from the tribe of Suhar al-Sham in Sada'a continue to hold a Saudi citizen hostage.

They're demanding that he give themback money, some 400,000 Saudi Riyals, they claim they gave him when they were in Saudi several months ago.

The Yemeni authorities gave the tribes an ultimatum that ended last Saturday to release the hostage, Abdullah Mufareh al-Wad'ee, without any condition.

They have even taken 10 people of there tribe as hostages of their own, to pressure the release of the Saudi national who was on a medical trip to Yemen with his wife. His wife was freed immediately.

The tribesmen kidnapped Mufareh al-Wad'ee 18 days ago.

The chief of Suhar al-Sham Ali Abdullah Sabhan said that one of the tribesmen named Mohammed Mufareh went to Saudi Arabia and met al-Wad'ee and another person who is his nephew Naser Yahia Mufareh. Both are his friends.

They took the money and put it in the bank under the account of someone called al-Kahtani who is familiar to the two Saudis, until the Yemeni tribesmen were to acquire a tractor.

When he wanted the money back, they kept lingering. He was fed up and went back to his tribe to ask for their support, which is a tribal convention.

The chief of the tribe refused to call it kidnapping. “It is not kidnapping, he was not kidnapped, he was seized and is given hospitality till the money is handed back,” said Sabhan.

He said that he is with the idea that the hostage should be handed to the Yemeni authorities which should settle down the scores between the two parties. However, relatives of the kidnappers dismissed the possibility of releasing the hostage before getting the money back.

On their part, the sons of the hostage urged in an interview with The Yemen Times that the Yemeni and Saudi authorities set their father free.

They claimed that their father “has nothing to do with the money.” They said that the issue should be settled through the law and the authorities in the two countries.

Sheikh Musfer Yahia Al Hussien from Wade'a tribe in Saudi Arabia told The Yemen Times that he tried his best to sort out the problem but to no avail. “We do not know about the ten hostages or their names,” he added.