Aden – Yemen’s Houthi authorities have ordered American and British staff from the United Nations and humanitarian organizations based in Sana’a to leave the country within a month, a document and a local official revealed Wednesday.
The decision comes after attacks by the United States and the United Kingdom, with the support of other countries, against military targets of the Iran-aligned group, which has been launching attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea.
Last week, the US government again included the Houthis on its list of terrorist groups, in an attempt by Washington to stop attacks against international shipping in the Red Sea.
The Houthis have said their attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinians as Israel bombs Gaza.
“The ministry (…) wishes to emphasize that it must inform officials and workers with American and British citizenship to prepare to leave the country within 30 days…”, indicated a letter sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Houthi Foreign Affairs to the acting UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Peter Hawkins.
The letter also orders foreign organizations not to hire American and British citizens for Yemen operations.
Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Reuters. The office of Hawkins, a British national, did not respond to a request for comment.
The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that it is aware of reports about the letter, but “cannot speak on behalf of the UN or humanitarian organizations in Yemen about what they may have received from Houthi ‘authorities’.” .
The British embassy said staff had not yet been ordered to leave the country and that the mission was in close contact with the UN on the issue.