Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Key ports for humanitarian shipments to Yemen remain closed

Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen's air and seaports within next 24 hours Restoring Yemeni access, Saudis say
Howard Terry | 15 November, 2017, 00:52

Since then, Yemen has suffered devastating and indiscriminate airstrikes launched by a Saudi-led coalition to restore Hadi to power.

The strike comes just a day after Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi agreed to reopen some ports to allow aid in.

The Saudi-led coalition said Monday it would reopen Yemen's ports closed after a ballistic missile attack by Yemen on Riyadh - but not ports in Houthi-control territory.

The United Nations on Tuesday dismissed the Saudi demand that strict inspections be put in place at Yemen's Hodeida port before it lifts the blockade. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also said Tuesday that it is alarmed at the worsening humanitarian situation in Yemen following the blockade.

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.

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 worldwide airport, which is critical to receiving already limited aid shipments. "Without Sanaa airport and Hodeidah and Salif seaports fully functioning and able to receive cargo, the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen will continue", Dujarric told reporters in NY. But the United Nations said most of the airport remained intact and that it would be able to receive aid shipments once they restart. The top Iranian diplomat said, "Blocking of humanitarian access to an already famine-stricken Yemen and the decision to "close all Yemeni air, sea and land ports" have further deteriorated the humanitarian nightmare in Yemen".

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened, but demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida. On Monday, the coalition said it would reopen ports in areas held by allied forces and loosen restrictions it had raised after the firing of the missile, which was intercepted near Riyadh's global airport.

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.

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