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Houthi Supporters Welcome UN Envoy with Demonstrations | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed leaves after a meeting with Houthi officials in Sana’a, Yemen in 2016. (Reuters)

Sana’a, Aden – The Yemeni Foreign Ministry condemned on Monday the attempted attack against UN Special Envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed upon his arrival to Sana’a.

Supporters of Houthi militias held demonstrations to protest against the envoy’s arrival to the Yemeni capital. Witnesses reported that Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s bodyguards had to fire gunshots in the air to disperse the protesters as he arrived in Sana’a to resume peace talks.

Only a few hours before his arrival, Houthi militias spokesperson, Mohammed Abdul-Salam, lashed out at the United Nations for failing to meet its “humanitarian and moral commitments towards the Yemeni people.”

“The United Nations only acts upon the wish of other parties to make the world believe that a political process is in progress,” he stated.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the “barbaric attack” against Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

“This attack comes as the UN special envoy deploys all efforts for the establishment of peace in Yemen and for the end of Yemenis’ sufferings, especially at the advent of the holy month of Ramadan,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added that the attack represented “a challenge and disregard to the international community, by those militias who do not believe in the political path and dialogue to resolve the current situation in Yemen.”

The statement called on the international community to work for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s visit to Sana’a is part of a regional tour that kicked off in Riyadh with the hope of reigniting peace talks between pro-government forces and rebels.

At the airport, the UN envoy told reporters he wanted to discuss with the Houthis and their allies ways of securing humanitarian access to the Red Sea port of Hodeidah to “prevent by all means an attack on the port.”