Norwegian United Nations worker held in Yemen, released unharmed

Sana’a – The UN staff member, who has been held in Yemen since 15 January 2012, arrived today in a UN safe haven in Sana’a after he was released earlier in Ma’rib. He is in good health and is receiving standard medical examinations and psychological counselling. He has been in touch with his family and will be reunited with them in Norway soon.

“I am happy to be free again and I wish to thank all those who have worked hard for my release.” commented the freed UN worker. “I am relieved that this experience is over,” he added.

The UN worker was reportedly held somewhere in the governorate of Ma’rib, 173 kilometres east of the capital Sana’a, where he was taken by armed tribesmen involved in a tribal dispute.

“We are delighted to have our colleague back with us, unharmed, and we greatly appreciate the timely and determined efforts of Yemeni authorities in negotiating his release” said Jens-Toyberg-Frandzen, UN Resident Coordinator in Yemen. “We are also grateful for the close coordination and support we have received from the Norwegian Government throughout this ordeal.”

The 34-year-old Norwegian, who has worked as a Governance Team Leader in the United Nations Development Programme, will go on a short leave to recuperate in his home country before he resumes duties with UNDP.

Contact Information

Noeman AlSayyad, UNDP Communication Advisor Mobile Phone: +(967)712221513 E-mail:

Last Modified on 2012-01-27