Following confrontations, mediations started yesterday Possible Release of Carl Soon [Archives:2001/24/Front Page]

June 11 2001

Today, Monday June 11, mediation efforts to release the German Carl Chisitian Hoerencke have started between prominent tribal figures led by Sheik Mohamed bin Naji Al-Ghadir of Khawlan. It is believed that Carl may be released as soon as an agreement between the mediators and the kidnappers is reached. This comes a few days after confrontations between the kidnappers of the German student and military forces which took place at 10:00 am on Wednesday June 6. Tens of armed soldiers with tanks and heavy artillery weapons approached the area where the tribesmen are hiding the kidnapped German.
This came despite the fact that the German embassy in Yemen has asked the authorities there not to use force in their effort to free a German student who was abducted by armed men in the capital, Sana’a, more than a week ago.
However, it was not long before the military units suspended its offensive and mediations started.
Hassan Al-Zaidi of Yemen Times approached the area where the confrontation was taking place, and realized that the situation is slowly getting out of control. According to tribal sources in the area, the military forces are slowly trying to penetrate into the hideout of the kidnappers. The death toll among the tribesmen is still unknown but several tribesmen were reported to be injured. However, one soldier was reported to have been killed while others were injured. The military forces continued their crawl into the area until 5:00 pm on Wednesday.
The military offensive against the kidnappers was led by Staff Brigadier General Mohamed Al-Qasimi, Chief of Staff and General Ali Salah Ahmed, Deputy Chief of Staff. Tens of military units are being sent to the area where confrontations are expected to intensify over the upcoming two days. The area is still surrounded by more than four thousand soldiers belonging to military wings in the Serhwah region alone, which is close to the area where Carl is being held.
Mediations could not start until yesterday because the mediators were not able to get into the area due to the intensifying confrontations. Tribal sources added that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is currently working on calming the situation by urging the start of mediation between the sheiks and the kidnappers.
According to the sources, the kidnapped could be released after the military offense is halted and mediation efforts begin. However, the kidnappers still demand guarantees of the release of the 4 remaining tribesmen members still being held in prison on banditry charges.
On the other hand, the father and sister of the kidnapped arrived in Sanaa last Wednesday where he was staying in one of the hotels of the capital city. Any meeting with them is strongly restricted. They are in continuous contact with the German embassy to know about the fate of Carl, and refused to give any statements to the press.
Carl had given Yemen Times a letter to be delivered to the German embassy explaining that his conditions have deteriorated.