UN urges Saudi Arabia to keep Yemen’s sea Ports open for critical aid
Sunday 14 January 2018 202018000000Sun, 14 Jan 2018 20:40:01 +0300 08 PM / Yemeni Media Center
The United Nations is calling for the permanent re-opening of all of Yemen’s sea ports to allow vital, life-saving humanitarian and commercial cargo to enter.
The Saudi-led coalition partially lifted its blockade of Yemen’s sea ports on December 20. Since then, the U.N. reports 13 vessels have delivered food and much needed fuel to the war-torn country through the Red Sea ports of Hudaydah and Saleef.
The U.N. welcomes this as a constructive step. But, the spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Jens Laerke, says it is not enough. He noted Yemen imports about 90 percent of its staple food and nearly all its fuel and medicine.
“We call on the Coalition to continue allowing vessels into the Red Sea ports, and also for the Houthis (Iran-backed rebel group) to desist from threatening this vital access route. The steady flow of imports is a lifeline for millions of vulnerable Yemeni people,” Laerke said.
Saudi Arabia imposed a total blockade on Yemen’s air and sea ports on November 6 in retaliation for a Houthi ballistic missile attack near the capital’s Riyadh airport.