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Yemen Calls for Ending Houthi Looting of Humanitarian Aid

Yemen Calls for Ending Houthi Looting of Humanitarian Aid

Sunday, 16 January, 2022 - 08:15
Houthi fighters ride on the back of a patrol truck as they secure the site of a pro-Houthi tribal gathering in a rural area near Sanaa, Yemen July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Yemeni Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Zaouri has renewed the government’s appeal to the international community to pressure Houthi militias to stop their violations related to the looting of humanitarian aid.

“Houthi militias continue to put obstacles in the way of the work of international and local organizations. The group also actively and loots relief aid,” said Al-Zaouri.

He accused the militias of making the humanitarian situation in Yemen worse.

The Yemeni minister explained that government agencies documented during the past year the Houthi militia’s many violations in the relief field.

Houthis stormed global food warehouses in the Aslam district of Hajjah governorate, looting about 120 tons of flour, and transferring aid allocated to the Bani Hassan camp to their fighters.

Houthis also robbed one third of the 16,000 monthly food baskets belonging to affected families in the Khairan Muharraq area.

Al-Zaouri indicated that a number of Houthi violations have been documented, ranging from looting aid, manipulating the names of beneficiaries, diverting aid to the benefit of fighters, placing obstacles in front of international humanitarian organizations, and imposing illicit fees on relief organizations and agencies when implementing humanitarian programs.

He explained that the militias detained two United Nations employees last November. They remain in detention until this moment.

The minister said that the Houthi group had taken control of the port of Hodeidah as a platform to practice obstacles and obstructions for ships carrying relief aid and to impose illegal fees.

Al-Zaouri warned against the Houthis’ continued control of parts of the maritime navigation, given that this threatens regional and international security. Houthis are hijacking some ships and striking others.

He urged the international community to pressure Houthi militias to stop all violations, reiterating the government’s keenness and continuity to support the efforts of donors and international relief agencies in implementing humanitarian programs in Yemen.

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