UN employee abducted in Yemen's capital Sanaa

UN employee abducted in Yemen's capital Sanaa
UN employee Hisham Abdel-Rahman Bagash was abducted by a masked man in Yemen's capital Sanaa as the war rages on.
2 min read
21 January, 2018
The war in Yemen is reaching its third year as the security situation deteriorates [AFP]

Yemeni security officials say unidentified gunmen abducted an employee at the UN migration agency Friday in the capital, Sanaa, the body has confirmed

The officials said late Friday that Hisham Abdel-Rahman Bagash was abducted a day earlier when a masked man led him out of his car and threatened him with a gun.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.

Bagash's father, Abdel-Rahman, said in a Facebook post that his son was accompanied by his wife at the time of the abduction but the kidnappers only took him. His whereabouts are unknown.

Sanaa in recent months has experienced a spike in kidnappings and killings amid a split between the Iran-backed Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Houthis and Saleh formed a strategic alliance, which led to the takeover of Sanaa from President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in September 2014.

The alliance broke amid tensions over Saleh's alleged contacts with Saudi Arabia, which ultimately led to the Houthi killing of the former president late last year.

Since March 2015 Saudi Arabia has been continuing a bombing campaign in Yemen that has been condemned for contributing to a the world's worst humanitarian disaster and allegedly violating international humanitarian law.

More than 10,000 people have since been killed - half of them civilians - and 11 million children are malnourished.

In Germany, Left party lawmaker Stefan Liebich said that Saudi Arabia and Egypt had "to answer for the thousands of deaths from their dirty war in Yemen," and called Berlin's decision to sell weapons to those countries "reprehensible".

In November, Liebich forced the Economic Ministry to disclose figures that showed arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Egypt had increased fivefold in 2017 compared to the previous year, with $526 million worth sold.

Earlier this month, Norway announced it would stop selling weapons to the UAE after it expressed concern the weapons purchased by Abu Dhabi may be used to kill civilians.

The Saudi-led alliance in Yemen includes Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Morocco, Sudan and Senegal.