Houthis arrest Yemeni staff from UN and US organisations

DUBAI, UAE (Reuters) – Houthi security forces detained 11 United Nations staff in Yemen during the last three days. The U.N. seeks their immediate and unconditional release.

He stated that the U.N. is very concerned by the development and has asked the Houthis to clarify why the Yemeni employees were detained. Two women and nine males work for five U.N. agencies, including the U.N. Envoy for Yemen.

Dujarric said that the U.N. wanted to have access to all the staff.

Three officials from Yemen’s internationally recognized government said that in a series raids, armed Houthi Intelligence officers detained nine U.N. staff, three members of the U.S. funded pro-democracy National Democratic Institute (NDI), and three local employees.

The Houthi group that controls Sanaa, the capital, and a large part of the northern region of the country raided these individuals’ homes and offices, seizing computers and phones.

Yemen’s government, which is internationally recognized, controls mainly the southern part of Yemen.

Reuters’ request for confirmation and comment was not immediately answered by the NDI. A Houthi spokeswoman did not comment immediately.

Houthis who are allied with Iran have launched attacks on ships in the Red Sea. This has prompted airstrikes by the United States and Britain. For the last three years, they have been holding around 20 Yemeni staffers of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. The embassy ceased operations in 2014.

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