UN Yemen envoy ‘survives assassination attempt’ in Sanaa

Yemen’s UN envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh survived an alleged assassination attempt in Sanaa on Monday, the foreign ministry said, after shots were fired when pro-rebel protesters stormed his car.

The UN’s Yemen envoy survived an alleged assassination attempt in the capital Sanaa on Monday, Yemen’s foreign ministry said after local reports claimed Houthi rebels opened fire on his car.

Ould Cheikh had just landed in the capital when the government said the rebels shot at his car near Sanaa International Airport, in an incident described by the opponents of the rebels as an attempt to block UN efforts to find a political solution to the crisis.

The Yemeni Foreign Ministry condemned what it described as an “assassination attempt” on the UN envoy, but sources at the scene of the event disputed this account.

According to Yemen Monitor, protesters who had been calling on Arab coalition forces to reopen Sanaa airport at the time of his arrival, launched water bottles at the convoy.

“The protesters approached the convoy of Ould Sheikh, and security forces loyal to the Houthis fired into the air to disperse them,” they added.

“The protesters were part of a march that started from the United Nations headquarters in Sana’a to the airport this morning, to demand UN pressure to reopen the institute after Arab coalition forces imposed a ban in August.”

Late on Monday, the State of Qatar expressed its strong condemnation of the shooting.

In a statement, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry described it as “heinous and a desperate attempt to block UN efforts to find a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.”

The statement stressed the support of the State of Qatar for the efforts of the UN envoy to to help the Yemeni parties reach a political solution, based on the Gulf initiative, findings of the national dialogue and the relevant UN resolutions.

Ould Cheikh arrived in the capital to launch the start of a new round of consultations between the internationally recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels after more than two years of conflict left more than 10,000 dead.