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Mission of observers in Yemen: shots on the United Nations team

It was not until Wednesday that the UN had officially decided on a monitoring mission in Yemen. Now their team, who had traveled early in the country, was hit. Who is behind the attack is not clear.

The shots were fired on a United Nations team in the Yemeni port of Hodeida. All the employees remained unharmed, including Patrick Cammaert, the head of the observation mission just launched in the country of war.

The United Nations team is safe, said UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. After a conversation between Cammaert and government officials in Hodeida, he was shot at a clearly-armored and clearly designated UN vehicle. After the meeting was fired at the UN vehicle. About the authors Dujarric could not provide information. It is clear that the United Nations group in the country of civil war obtains maximum protection and security measures.

Mutual accusations

In Yemen, a military coalition supported by Saudi Arabia is fighting on behalf of the internationally recognized government against Houthi Shi'ite rebels supported by Iran. Both sides in conflict have accused each other of being behind the attack.

The observation mission in Yemen was decided on Wednesday only by the UN Security Council. It should initially take six months. However, Cammaert and his team had traveled to Yemen before Christmas.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, had already recommended the deployment of 75 unarmed observers in December. They have to check if the rival parties actually withdraw from Hodeida as agreed.

Under the auspices of the UN, representatives of the Yemeni government and Houthi in Sweden had agreed in December a cease-fire for the port city fought. It is of immense strategic importance, but at the same time is the main hub for all relief supplies in Yemen. The United Nations describes this as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world, threatened by a famine.

With information from Kai Clement, ARD Studio New York

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