A happy new year for Juergen Chrobog. The former German government minister has been released along with his family by kidnappers in Yemen.
They had been in captivity for three days after being abducted while on a trip to the eastern province of Shabwa, from the southern port city of Aden.
The hostage-takers demanded the Yemeni government free five tribesmen jailed on criminal charges, including murder. German politicians praised the efforts of the foreign ministry and of senior Yemeni officials in resolving the crisis.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the minister of foreign affairs, said he had spoken to Chrobog and that he and his family were very relieved to be free. He added:“Even though they were well treated, we should not underestimate the psychological impact the kidnapping had on them.”
“The entire German government is delighted at the positive outcome,” Steinmeier went on to say.
Chrobog was himself a respected negotiator in crisis situations during his stint as under secretary for foreign affairs. Two years ago he helped to release nine German tourists abducted in the Sahara desert.