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

15 November 2017, 12:50 | Marta Robbins

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

UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

The U.S.is supporting a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the conflict, with intelligence, aerial refueling and the sale of weapons.

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

Al-Mouallimi said the Saudi-led coalition wants tougher inspections at the port of Hodeida, which is controlled by Houthi Shiite rebels, because current United Nations -monitored inspections only check large ships, and "in the case of small and medium-size ships there is hardly any inspection that takes place in the port or anywhere else".

On November 4 Saudi Arabia said it intercepted north or Riyadh is said was sacked from Yemen - blaming Iran for the incident, Saudi authorities accused Iran of "declaring war" on their country.

After a November 4 ballistic missile attack near the Riyadh global airport by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia had announced it shut down all ports in Yemen. The Houthis have denied that. United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock last week warned that unless the blockade is lifted, Yemen will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims".

The Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels", the statement said. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable".

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Al-Mouallimi told reports from NY that the Coalition would conduct this process in complete agreement with Yemen's internationally recognized government, to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. The coalition closed all Yemen air, land and seaports last week in response to a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers.

Saudi Arabia said Monday that the coalition would reopen seaports and airports in areas controlled by the Yemeni government, but those in rebel-held areas, including Hudaydah and Sanaa, would remain closed.

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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