Written By: Elena White
Article Date: Aug 8, 2012 - 2:32:34 PM
Alessandro Spadotto, an Italian Carabiniere who was kidnapped by tribesmen in front of the Italian embassy in Sana’a, Yemen safely returned home on Saturday to his family in San Vito al Tagliamento.
Relieved to see him return unscathed, his family and friends organized a welcome back party in his honor. The Carabinieri provincial Commander, Colonel Fabio Antonazzo, who had been keeping the contacts with the officer’s family and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the previous days, joined in the celebrations.
The Governor of Marib – south-eastern province of Yemen – who helped in arranging the release of the Carabiniere, underlined the important mediation role of tribal leaders were playing in setting free abductees, saying unlike the government they could keep the communication channels open.
After he was freed by his kidnappers – al-Jalal tribesmen sought to use the Carabiniere as a bargain chip against the release from prison of one of their relatives and a land arbitrage in their favor – Spadotto was handed over to the authorities in Marib Presidential Palace where he met with the Head of the Italian mission in Yemen, Luciano Galli.
He was then transferred to Sana’a, where he took a flight home. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Friday he was happy to see the Carabiniere had escaped unscathed his ordeal, stressing the prosecutors in Rome had opened an investigation into his kidnapping.
Although the Italian national kidnapping was free from political motivation, the incident underscores the vulnerability of all foreign nationals in Yemen. Following Spadotto’s kidnapping, several embassies, amongst which the French, issued stern warnings to nationals asking them to refrain from wondering in public.
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