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Houthis Threaten to Prevent UN Aid Flights from Landing at Sanaa Airport

Houthis Threaten to Prevent UN Aid Flights from Landing at Sanaa Airport

Monday, 7 September, 2020 - 08:00
Houthi militants in Sanaa on September 27, 2018. (AFP)

The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have decided to prevent United Nations aid flights from landing at Sanaa airport in the latest attempt to extort the international community and avoid the implementation of the mechanism to organize the import of fuel through Hodeidah ports.

The decision was taken at a time when regions under Houthi control have been witnessing a severe fuel shortage for months.

The legitimate government had ordered the suspension of the import of fuel from Hodeidah after the Houthis violated the temporary UN-sponsored agreement, reached in 2019, and looted some 60 million dollars in fuel shipment revenues that were supposed to be dedicated to paying the salaries of public employees.

The transportation minister in the unrecognized Houthi government announced Sunday that the militias will bar UN aid shipments from unloading at Sanaa airport due to an alleged oil derivatives shortage at the facility. He also accused the UN of being “biased and ineffective”.

Contradicting Houthi allegations, a report by the legitimate government confirmed that the militias have enough fuel to meet demands until the end of October. It accused the Houthis of deliberately sparking the crisis in order to raise prices in the black market.

UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths had last week expressed his deep concern over the severe fuel shortage in Houthi-held regions, warning of its “catastrophic” impact on the people.

He said his office was in constant contact with the warring parties to reach an urgent solution that would ensure that fuel is imported through Hodeidah port and that the revenues would go to paying public sector wages.

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