Yemeni Security Arrests those Accused of Assassinating the UN Employee in Taiz

Yemeni security forces in Taiz governorate announced, on Saturday, the arrest of those directly accused of the assassination of the UN employee Moayad Hamidi, along with 10 others who he said were part of a gang responsible for the targeting, amid a presidential and government effort to contain the consequences of the incident on the UN’s humanitarian interventions in the country.

Two unidentified gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on Friday afternoon at the World Food Program official in Taiz Governorate (southwest), Moayed Hamidi (Jordanian) when he was in a restaurant in the Turbah area, before fleeing, killing the victim and injuring another Yemeni.

The security media official in Taiz confirmed, in a brief statement, that the security services had arrested those directly responsible for Hamidi’s killing, along with 10 others as part of a gang involved in the crime.

The Director General of the Governorate’s Police, Brigadier General Mansour Al-Akhali, revealed that a joint security campaign under his leadership was launched, as investigation procedures were launched into the assassination of the World Food Program office coordinator Moayad Hamidi (50 years old) and the injury of Saleh Al-Shahtari by two people riding a motorcycle in front of Al-Shaibani Restaurant in the center of Al-Turbah.


Earlier, the Yemeni security forces in Taiz said that they had identified those accused of the assassination of the coordinator of the World Food Program, in the city of Al-Turbah, in the south of the governorate, and proceeded to pursue them.

For its part, the Yemeni Ministry of Interior directed the security services in all liberated governorates and ports to arrest the accused of killing the head of the World Food Program team in Taiz, and said that the accused was named Ahmed Youssef Al-Surra.

International, international and Yemeni condemnation

In a statement, the World Food Program expressed its deep sorrow over the killing of one of its employees, while the assassination was condemned by the United Nations and the international community, amid official Yemeni efforts to contain the repercussions of the accident on the international humanitarian work in the country.

The WFP explained that Hamidi, a dedicated humanitarian worker, had recently arrived in Yemen to take up his new position as head of the WFP office in Taiz, where he had worked for the WFP for nearly 18 years, including previous positions in Yemen, Sudan, Syria and Iraq.

“The loss of our colleague is a profound tragedy for us and for the entire humanitarian community,” said Richard Ragan, WFP Representative and Country Director in Yemen.

Rajan added: “Any loss of life in the cause of humanitarian work is an unacceptable tragedy. Those behind this attack must be brought to justice.”

In the same context, the UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, condemned the killing of employee Hamidi. “We condemn the killing of Muayad Hamidi, a dedicated employee of the World Food Program in Taiz,” he said in a statement.


UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg  

The envoy offered his condolences to the victim’s family and friends, adding that he “shares their grief and sorrow with the humanitarian community in Yemen for this painful loss.”

Yemeni political parties in Taiz governorate, in turn, condemned the crime, calling for the development of a security plan to protect personalities and international organizations and prevent a recurrence of what happened. They also called for speedy action to uncover the circumstances of the crime and arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Presidential and governmental pledge

The head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad al-Alimi, along with government officials, conducted extensive contacts with the concerned international bodies to contain the repercussions of the accident.

According to official sources, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, informed Al-Alimi that the terrorist incident “will not affect the interventions of the United Nations and its relief programs provided to the Yemeni people in various fields,” and that he affirmed the commitment of the international organization to continue its good offices in order to establish peace, security and stability in Yemen.

The government-run Saba news agency reported that Al-Alimi affirmed his country’s commitment to “securing humanitarian work, prosecuting the perpetrators whose identities were identified by the security services, and taking the necessary measures to apprehend them and bring them to justice so that they receive their deterrent punishment.”


Head of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, telephoned the Secretary-General of the United Nations  


For his part, Prime Minister Maeen Abdel-Malek called Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, to offer condolences over Hamidi’s death, stressing that the killers had been identified and arrested in preparation for their trial to receive their just and deterrent punishment for the terrorist crime they committed.

Abdul Malik affirmed his government’s commitment to securing humanitarian work, enabling relief organizations to carry out their work, and facilitating the arrival of aid to those who deserve it, to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people as a result of the war sparked by the terrorist Houthi militia, and to limit its looting of aid and harness it for what it calls the war effort. According to what was reported by the official media.

The Yemeni Prime Minister expressed his confidence that humanitarian and relief work will not be affected by this reprehensible and brutal incident, and said: “The Yemenis are in dire need, in the difficult period in which they live, of every effort to alleviate their suffering, and not to give the opportunity to the criminals who committed their heinous act to achieve their goals and objectives behind their treacherous operation.”


Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik 


The “Saba” agency quoted the Executive Director of the World Food Program as saying that the assassination of the UN employee is “unacceptable, targeting the humanitarian community working to serve the needy,” in addition to her assertion that “the terrorist incident will not affect the work and activities of the program in Yemen.”

Relief risks

The incident reminded of the dangers faced by aid workers in Yemen, since 2014, when the conflict created a very difficult and dangerous environment for humanitarian workers, who are trying to provide assistance and support to those affected by the war, especially in areas controlled by the Houthis.

With insecurity and widespread violence, aid workers often find themselves in the midst of ongoing hostilities, exposing them to the risk of violence, including attacks, kidnappings and targeted killings.

Kidnappings of aid workers have been a major concern in Yemen, where extremist groups and criminal elements have targeted humanitarian workers for ransom or to put pressure on organizations operating in the region.

In addition, humanitarian organizations face bureaucratic hurdles and restrictions imposed by the various parties to the conflict, which hamper their ability to provide assistance effectively. In addition to the targeting of humanitarian facilities, including hospitals, clinics and warehouses that store relief supplies in the conflict, which has led to a decrease in the ability to deliver aid.

The conflict has also caused severe damage to infrastructure and restricted access to many areas, making it difficult for aid workers to reach vulnerable populations and deliver essential supplies and services.

Aid workers also have to pass many security checkpoints manned by various armed groups, which can be fraught with danger and unpredictability.

As security conditions deteriorate, aid organizations operating in Yemen are constantly assessing and adapting their strategies to mitigate these risks while providing crucial assistance to those in need.

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