Swiss hostage released after year in captivity in Yemen

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A 33-year-old Swiss teacher of languages who was kidnapped in March 2012 by armed militants at her home in Yemen has been released. No ransom was paid and it appears likely that her release came about through long negotiations with various tribal groups. The Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday in […]

ICRC worker’s legacy, a video worth your time

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – One of the most poignant tributes to the work of the ICRC (International Red Cross) is a video with Hussein Saleh, a Yemen national who died on the job in June 2012. Le Monde has just featured him in a short article with the video, a reminder to take a few minutes […]

US security officer at embassy in Yemen killed

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A senior security official at the US Embassy in Yemen was shot and killed on the way to work Thursday 11 October, according to CNN, citing the country’s interior ministry. The Yemeni national was killed in Sanaa. The embassy was the scene of anti-US riots 13 September as part of violence in […]

US embassy protests against anti-Muslim film spread

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Hundreds of protesters stormed the US Embassy in Yemen and a second wave tried to reach the US Embassy in Cairo a day after a first protest there, against an amateur film mocking Islam, filmed in the US. A group of Egyptian ministers has asked the Obama administration to take action against […]

Swiss hostage in Yemen shown in video, uncertainty over validity

BERN, SWITZERLAND – A Swiss woman kidnapped in Yemen in March appears in a video that has been published on the Internet, but according to Swiss public broadcasting RTS it is not yet certain if the film is authentic: the woman is completely veiled and wearing sunglasses, and says she is in the hands of […]

Water, water, not yet everywhere, but we’re making progress

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World water day is 22 March – whet your appetite for water news GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Today is World Water Day, declared by the United Nations, and we’re taking a moment out to think about what is historically one of humanity’s greatest problems and where we are with solving it. In a nutshell, here’s what […]

Yemen told by UN not to pass amnesty law to protect “gross violations”

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay 6 January told Yemen’s lawmakers that they must not go ahead with a proposed amnesty law that would protect those who commit war crimes. Her office has recently sent a team to Yemen to study the situation there and prepare a report on the country, where […]

Women protesting in Yemen attacked; president says he will step down

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Yemen’s President’s latest in a string of statements that he will quit is being met with skepticism by opposition leaders, as protests continue in the country, one of Africa’s poorest, with a high percentage of young people. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 69, has ruled the country for three decades. Over the weekend […]

Three African women share Nobel Peace Prize

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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 goes to three women, two from Liberia and one from Yemen, for their “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karma. The first two are from Liberia and the […]

Yemen fighting builds as civil war looms

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – New fighting that broke out in Yemen three days ago appears to be bringing the country closer to civil war, with the city of Sana seeing at least 25 people killed in two days (some reports say 60). Government forces, former troops that have rebelled, protesters and tribesman are all involved in […]