United Nations dismisses the Saudi demand to re-open the Yemen Port

Pauline Gross
November 15, 2017

The US-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been at war in with the Shiite rebels known as Houthis since March 2015.

Hedile noted the first flight carrying 218 passengers took off today.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a November 4 ballistic missile attack on Riyadh near its global airport by the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

"We have some 21 million people needing assistance and seven million of those are in famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid", he said.

He said many weapons have been smuggled to the Houthis through Hodeida and the small ports they control.

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Meanwhile in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, the United Nations dismissed Houthi claims that a Saudi-led air strike had destroyed the navigation station of the global airport, which is critical to receiving already limited aid shipments.

The UN's aid coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said there was no time to wait for a new inspection system to be set up. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable".

The UN has warned that an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day that aid shipments remained blocked. The coalition closed all Yemen air, land and seaports last week in response to a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh. In a statement, Saudi's permanent United Nations representative said he confirms that "steps are being taken by the [Saudi-led] Coalition in full consultation and agreement with the Government of Yemen, to start the process of reopening airports and seaports in Yemen to allow for the safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments". However, Saudi Arabia demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida, which is being controlled by the rebels.

"I would like to draw your urgent attention to the extremely appalling situation in Yemen, caused by aggression, indiscriminate targeting of civilians and a blockade, imposing intolerable suffering on the Yemeni people", Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote, calling for worldwide action to end the mass destruction in Yemen, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the Foreign Ministry's website.

Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo, he added.

Other reports by GizPress

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