Head of UN Monitor Team Survives Houthi Shooting in Hodeidah

Friday, 18 January, 2019 - 10:30
London - Badr Al Qahtani

A United Nations report reaffirmed that the convoy moving retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, who is leading the current UN ceasefire monitor team, has arrived at its destination safely after having come under Houthi fire.

A car was hit with one round as they returned to the city center from a meeting with a delegation from the legitimate Yemeni government, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Iran-backed Houthis militants don’t run a clean record when it comes to attacking UN officials, with its most stark assault being the admitted assassination attempt on the life of former UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh, who at the time of the attack was trying to reach their Yemen bastion, Sanaa. The attack, which took place in May 2017, was officially labeled as an assassination attempt and marked the last visit for Ould Cheikh to the coupist stronghold.

Houthis’ aggressive behavior towards international emissaries has spurred fears among Yemenis who are hoping for a solution to break off the violence ravaging their country. Before stepping down, Ould Cheikh said that Houthis were the sole pushback against a political solution and peace in Yemen.

Cammaert appealed for calm and a strengthening of the ceasefire in Hodeidah by the warring parties.

“All the parties in Yemen are responsible for the safety of all UN personnel,” Dujarric reaffirmed for his part.

A Yemeni source in the Saudi-led coalition told Reuters the convoy was visiting an area under its control when Houthi fighters opened fire. A statement from a Houthi official sent to Reuters said coalition-backed forces in the eastern suburbs, a flashpoint, had fired on the convoy.

Cammaert arrived in the Red Sea port city on Dec. 22 to head the committee overseeing implementation of a ceasefire and troop withdrawal deal reached at peace talks last month in Sweden between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

Cammaert has already met several times with representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthis in Hodeidah, however, Houthis have recently been refusing to meet him over alleged bias in favor of the internationally-recognized Yemeni government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Saudi-led Arab Coalition.

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