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HomeWorldYemen’s Houthis detain UN staff, aid workers | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Yemen’s Houthis detain UN staff, aid workers | Israel-Palestine conflict News

The UN says it is “pursuing all available channels” to ensure the safe release of its staff “as soon as possible.”

Yemen’s Houthi group is detaining at least 11 United Nations staff, UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said, calling for the staff’s unconditional release.

Dujarric said on Friday that the UN was seeking clarification from the Houthis about why the Yemeni employees were detained. The two women and nine men work for five different UN agencies and the UN envoy to Yemen.

“We are pursuing all available channels to ensure the safe and unconditional release of all of them as quickly as possible,” Dujarric said, adding that the UN also wanted access to the staff.

In a series of raids, armed Houthi intelligence agents also detained three employees of the U.S.-funded pro-democracy group National Democratic Institute (NDI) and three employees of a local human rights group, three NDI officials told Reuters on Friday. internationally recognized government of Yemen. .

Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned the arrests and said the Yemeni group’s refusal to reveal the location of those detained “may amount to enforced disappearance” under international law.

“The Houthis should immediately release all UN employees and workers from other independent groups whom they have detained due to their humanitarian and human rights work and stop arbitrarily detaining and forcibly disappearing people,” Niku said in a statement. Jafarnia, HRW researcher on Yemen and Bahrain.

“These detentions not only attack the rights of these people but also undermine essential humanitarian and human rights work in Yemen at a time when the majority of Yemenis do not have adequate access to basic needs such as food and water.”

The reason for the arrests is still unclear. But the apparent crackdown comes at a time of rising tensions and questions about the sustainability of the relative calm between the Houthis and the internationally recognized government.

Last month, the government demanded that all banks move their headquarters to their headquarters in the southern city of Aden, a move that could put further economic pressure on Houthi-controlled areas. The Houthis control the capital, Sana’a, and present themselves as the country’s legitimate authorities.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Washington is seeking to block major parts of a United Nations peace plan that warring parties in Yemen adopted in December unless the Houthis cease their attacks on international shipping.

Since November, the Yemeni group has been launching drone and missile attacks against ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, a campaign it says aims to pressure Israel to end its war on Gaza, which has killed more than 36,000 Palestinians.

In a statement on social media platform .

The Houthis have also detained and detained former employees of the US embassy in Sana’a, which closed in 2015.

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