German Diplomat Freed [Archives:2001/39/Front Page]

September 24 2001

Rainer Berns, the Commercial Attaché of the German Embassy in Sanaa has been released by kidnappers in the early morning of Monday, September 24. 
His release came after more than 8 weeks in captivity, and after intensified mediation efforts involving prominent figures including Member of Parliament Sheikh Sultan Ali-Arada, Governor of Mareb Naji Al-Soufi, and the prominent Sheikh of Jahm tribe Mubarak Al-Massan Al-Zaidi.
According to tribal sources from the region of Mareb, Serwah, to where the kidnappers belong, Berns was released upon the reaching of a tribal agreement among the mediators, who were directly authorized by the President, and the kidnappers. 
The agreement constituted of two initial conditions for the release. The first is the withdrawal of the army,. The second was tribal arbitration in the house, which was attacked by the military forces and whose furniture and possessions were taken away.
The German embassy expressed its delight with the news, and have told Yemen Times that Berns has arrived to Sanaa accompanied by Sultan Al-Arada and the Governor of Mareb. “He has been asleep since he came. He seemed to be terribly tired.” a source at the embassy said.
This development came one day after Berns was allowed to call his wife by mobile phone expressing his worries and ambitions regarding his fate. He told his wife on the phone that he was relatively alright, except for the psychological aspect of it as he suffered from close death experiences when police forces fired at him when the kidnappers escaped their initial hideout. He expressed his concern and anger over the police forces that surrounded the area as they were shooting at the kidnappers’ hideout indifferent of any possibility that the hostage may be hurt or even killed.
Mohammed Ali Al-Zaidi, Ahmed Ali Al-Zaidi and their associates kidnapped Mr. Rainer Berns when he was returning from the Sanaa Airport to his home on the 60-meter street on July 27.