After reaching a Dead End in Mediations to Release Kidnapped German Government Demands More Hostages [Archives:2001/36/Front Page]

September 3 2001

After negotiations with the tribesmen suspected of being involved in the kidnapping of the German Commercial Attache reached a deadlock, the government openly demanded to have more hostages until the secure release of the kidnapped German last Thursday. 
Military troops stationed in Mareb started last Friday erecting military checkpoints at the key outlets leading to Serwah district where the German diplomat is thought to be kept. 
The mediations made by the Governor of Mareb, Colonel Naji Al-Sufi with the relatives of Mohammed Ali Al-Zaidi accused of kidnapping the German diplomat, Rainer Berns, 55, came to a dead end due to his insistence on USD 1 million ransom. 
On another level;, sheikhs of Al-Zaidi tribe and other sheikhs from Jahm tribe offered themselves as hostages to the Government. Staff-Brigadier Naji Ali Al-Zaidi brother of the suspect Mohammed Al-Zaidi as well as Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Al-Zaidi and Sheikh Ahmed Al-Owaili are currently in a detention camp in Mareb. Similarly, the Government demanded other hostages from Jahm tribe, but Jahm absolved itself from the kidnappers. 
Well-informed sources told Yemen Times that the German Embassy in Sana’a did not receive any calls from the kidnappers within the last 20 days and that the Embassy is concerned about the health of the diplomat who who is suffering from a heart disease. 
A German psychologist staying in hotel in Sanaa has been comforting the Iranian wife of the diplomat who feels frustrated because of the failed efforts to release her husband. Berns was kidnapped on July 27 from his car on the 60-meter street in Sanaa by unknown militants.