Tribal negotiations fail to free Swiss woman
The abduction of Abrahat in Hodeida, on Yemen’s Red Sea, coast is still surrounded by uncertainty.
Martha, who is also a Swiss national, has only said that she will leave Hodeida to avoid the fate of Abrahat, who was kidnapped in mid-March by unknown armed men reported to be from Shabwa governorate.
A local source from Shabwa told the Yemen Times that a tribal mediation headed by Mullah Ali Abdullah Zabarah in the Al-Saeed area of Shabwa failed to secure Abrahat’s release, due to the unworkable conditions put forth by Ansar Al-Sharia, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group in Yemen.
The statement came after Ansar Al-Sharia demanded the release of the widow of Osama Bin Laden and a number of others being detained in Aden. However, the government met the demands with refusal.
Local sources ruled out reports by Yemeni media outlets about the transfer of Abrahat to Abyan governorate, pointing out that the transfer would be extremely difficult due to tight security checkpoints.
The acting ambassador of Switzerland is in contact with tribal leaders in Shabwa, through whom he is attempting to secure Abrahat’s release.
Abrahat was surrendered by armed men to Ansar Al-Sharia in Shabwa in return for US $50,000 after the government refused to meet their demands.