By Fatik Al-Rodaini
SANA'A- March 16, 2012- A Swiss woman was kidnapped in Yemen's western province of Al-Hodeida by tribesmen demanding the release of prisoners held by Yemeni authorities in the province.
Local news websites reported that Selafia Ibrahardert, 32, was kidnapped in Seven July district of Al-Hodeida province last Tuesday. The kidnappers called Selafia's friend confirming the kidnapping, saying that she had taken to Bayhan district of Shabwa province.
The Swiss woman is working in Al-Hodeida province in an institute teaching languages there.
In related news, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland confirmed on Friday that a Swiss woman had been kidnapped in Hodeida, a port city in western Yemen.
The department said it was informed about the case on Thursday evening. It said it had already contacted the Yemeni authorities, and that it would try to make sure that the hostage is freed in good health condition.
The department asked its residents to temporarily leave Yemen in June 2011.
Kidnappings of Western tourists or workers by tribes seeking ransom or concessions from the government have been frequent in Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries. Most of the hostages have been freed unharmed.
Here is a timeline tracing kidnappings in Yemen since 1993:
Nov 26, 1993- A U.S. diplomat was kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen. Government officials negotiate for his release in the first known kidnapping of a diplomat in faction-ridden Yemen.
Oct 19, 1996- In Yemen Serge Lefevre, first secretary of the French Embassy, was kidnapped.
Oct 27, 1996- In Yemen Serge Lefevre, first secretary of the French Embassy, was kidnapped a 2nd time after being released by members of the same tribe.
Aug 14, 1997- In Yemen ten Italian tourists were reported kidnapped in 2 separate incidents.
Dec 28, 1998- In Yemen Islamic militants kidnapped 16 Western tourists. The demanded the release of Saleh Haidara al-Atwi and another top militant arrested 2 weeks ago. The militants were led by Abu Hassan.
Dec 29, 1998- In Yemen security forces attacked the kidnappers of 16 and 4 hostages were killed. The freed tourists said that government forces initiated the battle that left 3 Britons and an Australian dead.
Jan 17, 1999- In Yemen 2 British and 4 Dutch citizens were kidnapped.
Feb 2, 1999- In Yemen kidnappers freed 4 Dutch and 2 British nationals.
May 5, 1999- A Yemeni court sentenced 3 Islamic militants to death for their role in the abduction and killing of Western tourists in Dec.
Feb 10, 2000- In Yemen tribesmen released Kenneth White (54), an American oil executive, who was kidnapped a month ago.
Nov 21, 2005- In Yemen a tribesman threatened to kill two Swiss tourists he kidnapped if the government uses force to free them. Hasan Ahmed al-Dhamen said that he would kill his two hostages, a man and a woman, if security forces tried to raid his hide-out.
Dec 24, 2005- Yemeni kidnappers freed two Austrian tourists, three days after seizing them in an apparent dispute over the government's arrest of fellow tribesmen.
Dec 28, 2005- Armed men kidnapped a former German diplomat and his family touring the mountains of eastern Yemen and pressed the Yemeni government for the release of jailed members of their tribe.
Dec 31, 2005- Yemeni kidnappers released a former German diplomat and his four family members.
Jan 1, 2006- In northern Yemen tribesmen kidnapped five Italians, a day after the government negotiated the release of five Germans held hostage. Tribesmen soon freed three Italian women, who were among a group of five Italian tourists, and pressed for the release of kinsmen held by the authorities.
Jan 2, 2006- Yemeni tribal and state officials said 3 Italian women kidnapped in north Yemen have refused to go free until their abductors release two Italian men held with them.
Jan 6, 2006- In Yemen 5 Italian hostages were freed in good health after six days in captivity when their kidnappers surrendered to government troops.
Sep 10, 2006- Armed Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped four French tourists in the east of the country to press for their relatives to be released from jail.
Sep 25, 2006- In Yemen 4 French tourists kidnapped Sep 10 were freed.
Sep 29, 2006- Yemeni government forces raided a tribal settlement following the kidnappings of foreign tourists, arresting five suspects but killing two women and wounding three children.
Dec 15, 2008- In southern Yemen tribesmen kidnapped a German aid worker and her parents, demanding the government release imprisoned clan members.
Dec 19, 2008- Mediators said Yemeni kidnappers have released their three German hostages after the Yemeni government agreed to meet some of their conditions, including paying a ransom and releasing some tribesmen from prison.
Mar 31, 2009- In Yemen Jan and Heleen Janszen, a Dutch couple, were kidnapped in a suburb of Sanaa and taken to a mountainous area near the capital. They were released on April 14 after Yemen's government paid more than a quarter million dollars in ransom.
Jun 12, 2009- In Yemen nine foreigners, including 3 children, were kidnapped while on a picnic in northern Saada province. 3 of the kidnapped were found dead on June 15. In May 2010 Saudi intelligence forces freed 2 German girls, aged 4 & 6. The fate of the others remained unknown.
Jun 14, 2009- Yemen accused a Shiite rebel group of kidnapping 9 foreigners in northern Saada province. The Interior Ministry official said Hassan Hussein Bin Alwan, a Saudi man suspected of financing Al-Qaida cells in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, has been arrested.
Jun 15, 2009- In Yemen 3 foreign women, including two German nurses and a South Korean teacher kidnapped on June 12, were found dead. Two children were found alive. Nine foreigners, including seven German nationals, a Briton and a South Korean, disappeared June 12 while on a picnic in Yemen’s northern Saada region.
Nov 16, 2009- A Yemeni security official and the Japanese Embassy said armed tribesmen have kidnapped a Japanese engineer working on the construction of a school and demanded the government release one of their imprisoned tribe members. Takeo Mashimo was released on Nov 23.
May 16, 2010- Yemeni tribesmen kidnapped two Chinese engineers and their government escorts in the country's volatile south. Kidnappers released the engineers after several days of mediation.
May 24, 2010- In Yemen tribal gunmen kidnapped two American tourists and demanded the release of a jailed tribesman for the pair. The tourists were released the next day after Pres. Saleh agreed to free a prisoner held by the state.
October 29, 2010- An armed group kidnapped a Swedish engineer working for the Batis Cement Factory in Yemen's southern Abyan Province. He was released hours later in a tribal agreement with the kidnappers.
April 13, 2011- Tribesmen in Yemen's southern province of Abyan released a Russian doctor after being kidnapped for more than one month.
May 28, 2011- Three French aid workers were kidnapped by an armed group in Yemen's southern province of Hadramout. The 3 hostages were kidnapped in the southern province of Hadramaut where they were all working for the French based humanitarian organization, Triangle Génération Humanitaire as they were conducting a field trip near Sayoun.
October 25, 2011- Security officials announced that a Uzbekistan doctor had been kidnapped by Mared tribesmen from the northeastern Oil rich country's province, as he was traveling back to the capital, Sana'a.
November 14, 2011- The French government announced that 3 French nationals who had been kidnapped over 5 months ago by alleged al-Qaeda militants had finally been freed.
November 22, 2011- Security officials in the southern province of Lahj just announced that 2 foreign nationals had been kidnapped by several gunmen, the trio was working for the Red Cross in the region. This is the second time this year that French nationals are being used as bargain chip for the release of government prisoners.
January 15, 2012- Tribesmen from the eastern province of Marib kidnapped a Norwegian citizen, called Jert, from a main street in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.
February 2, 2012- The UN Relief Organization workers, who have been abducted by tribes men in the northwest Yemeni province of al-Mahouit were released unharmed late. The workers-two Yemenis, German, Iraqi, Palestinian, and Colombian-were release through a tribal mediation efforts headed by Minister of Electricity Saleh Someh and moved to the UN office in th capital, Sana'a. The Relief Organization workers were kidnapped on their way back from a refugee camp in the Haradh district of Hajjah province.