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Rebels blamed for Yemen’s humanitarian disaster

The Yemeni government has criticised a United Nations report faulting the Saudi-led coalition for the country’s “humanitarian crisis”.

On Wednesday, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and international sanctions, Edriss Jazairy, urged the Saudi-led coalition to lift its “unwarranted” aerial and naval blockade on Yemen.

“The humanitarian disaster was inflicted on Yemen by the Al Houthi coup against the legitimate government,” Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, Yemen’s Local Administration Minister and chairman of the Supreme Relief Committee, said.


He blamed the humanitarian situation on the rebels who continue to block food aid from entering several Yemeni provinces.

Rebels seize relief ships immediately after docking at Hodeida and Saleef seaports and supply goods to their fighters battling government forces across Yemen.

This includes vital medicines, tents and food.

So far, Al Houthis have seized 223 aid convoys and 63 ships carrying humanitarian aid.

Aside from seizing vital aid, they have systematically targeted, intimidated and even abducted aid workers.

Al Houthis have abducted 30 ai workers from areas under their control, including several Norwegian Refugee Council staff, in the Red Sea city of Hodeida.

In Taiz, seven aid workers were abducted, and later released.

Yemen says it must monitor its seaports in order to stop the weapons flow which comes from Iran and is smuggled through the ports.

The coalition’s oversight of the seaport is in line with international law which guarantees the right of any country to protect its water ports from weapons smuggling, Fateh explained.

He called on the United Nations to apply more pressure on the Iran-backed rebels to end their occupation of airports in Taiz and Hodeidah.
The humanitarian situation in Taiz city is particularly abysmal as starvation looms.

Vital food rations are scarce and expensive — local merchants use dangerous mountain routes to smuggle goods into the city.

Taiz has become the scene of bloodiest clashes between government forces and Iran-backed Al Houthis that killed hundreds of people and injured thousands others, according to local and international right groups.

After failing to take control of the city’s downtown, Al Houthis imposed a siege on Taiz, banning people from leaving or entering areas under their control.

Some have died from malnutrition or medicine shortages.

International organisations do not dare to send aid convoys to Taiz as they fear Al Houthis will abduct their workers.

The aid they do send is flown in to Sana’a and then dispatched and carried on Al Houthi-controlled roads.

The rebels then take all the aid for their own fighters and supporters, and nothing reaches Taiz.

Source: gulfnews

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