Norwegian hostage still in captivity

Published on 23 January 2012 in News
Ali Saeed (author)

Ali Saeed

Gert Danielsen

Gert Danielsen

SANA’A, Jan. 22 – Gert Danielsen, a Norwegian United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) worker, taken hostage last Sunday by tribesmen from Marib has not been released yet, despite efforts by local mediators.

A Norwegian journalist told the Yemen Times that both the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and the UN are negotiating with the kidnappers to free Danielsen, who is now in a remote area of Marib, 170km east of Sana’a.

However, Sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Marwani, director of Dar Al-Sallam Organization said their involvement was not helping. “This is prolonging the mediation, because the kidnappers now are increasing their demands,” he explained.

“The mediation should be going through the Yemeni government, so the tribesmen [kidnappers] cannot raise their demands,” Al-Marwani said.

Ali Al-Minifi, a local tribal leader in Marib who also works with Dar Al-Sallam Organization added, “Mediation is still ongoing, but no agreement has been reached yet.

“I was told that the kidnappers have moved the hostage to a remote area in Marib for security reasons,” said Al-Minifi. However, he added that Danielsen was “fine” and that he was negotiating with the tribesmen to be allowed to visit Danielsen and assure his health and safety.

Following his abduction, Marib Press published a number of photos showing Danielsen in captivity but alive and safe.