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According to the United Nations, at least 11 staff members have been detained by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, prompting calls for their immediate release.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed the detentions, stating that the two women and nine men worked for various UN agencies and the UN envoy for Yemen. Dujarric said the UN was working to understand the reasons behind the arrests and secure the staff’s safe release while also seeking access to the detained individuals.

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In addition to the UN personnel, the Houthis have also detained three employees of the US-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI) and three staff members of a local human rights organization. Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned these actions and demanded their immediate release.

The motivations behind these detentions remain unclear but come as tensions have increased in the last week with the Houthis over attacks launched on commercial ships in the region. Yemen’s Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani labeled the detentions as an “unprecedented escalation” and a violation of international laws. This incident also follows previous detentions of former US Embassy employees by the Houthis, further complicating the situation in the region.


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