Houthis accused of killing two Yemeni farmers after land seizures protest

Houthis accused of killing two Yemeni farmers after land seizures protest
A Yemeni government minister has accused the rebel Houthi militia of killing two farmers in the western Hodeida province after seizing their land.
2 min read
07 December, 2022
The Houthis have been accused of dispossessing Yemeni farmers [Getty/file image]

Two Yemeni farmers have been killed by armed Houthi fighters, and three more injured, after protests against the rebels seizing their land were brutally suppressed.

In a tweet accompanied by a video, the information minister of Yemen's internationally-recognised government, Moammar Al-Eryani, said the Houthis had fired on farmers who had held a small demonstration after their land was confiscated by rebel authorities in the Bajel area, in the western Yemeni province of Hodeidah.

"We condemn in the strongest terms the Iran-sponsored Houthi terrorist militia’s firing on citizens who peacefully gathered to stop the looting of their lands and farms," he tweeted, naming the two civilians allegedly killed as Hashem Ahmed Abaqa and Maqboul Ahmed Abaqa.

In the video shared by Eryani, one of the protesters appears to film the Houthis and points out that while they are armed, the farmers have no weapons and are only carrying sticks.

A number of farmers are seen gathering and shouting. Later on, shots are fired and the gathered farmers run away. Several are seen falling to the ground, dead or wounded. Some are heard screaming in pain.

The New Arab was unable to independently verify the content of the video.

Warning: Video contains graphic and distressing content

Eryani added that what he called "the Houthis' cold-blooded killing of unarmed civilians" came weeks after other land seizures in Hodeida province.

He called on the United Nations and human rights groups to condemn the killings.

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Yemen’s Houthi movement captured the capital Sanaa from the internationally-recognised government in 2014. The following year, a Saudi-led coalition intervened against the Houthis.

The Yemeni conflict has continued since then, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions more.

It has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis by the United Nations. Both the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition are accused of grave violations of human rights. A ceasefire declared earlier this year has recently broken down.