Yemeni gov't calls UN to uncover corruption investigation

Aden (Debriefer)
2019-08-06 | Since 4 Month

((Aid for IDPs))

إضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The Yemeni internationally-recognized government on Monday called the United Nations to lift privacy concerning internal investigation into corruption, to review its and its agencies' performance in Yemen, and to announce results transparently.

"Internal investigation documents and information collected by The Associated Press from interviews with aid workers on UN agencies' performance (thatdisclose Houthi penetration, political and financial corruption, nepotism, and mismanagement of aid efforts) are a scandal affecting this organization's reputation," said minister of information at the legitimate government.

Fate of hundreds of millions of dollars in food supplies and medicines stolen by Houthis from mouths of starving and displaced people should be revealed, Moammar al-Eryani added.

He called the UN to conduct inclusive investigation on corruption of its agencies in Yemen, as "winking at Houthis plundering the humanitarian aid programs affects the organization's credibility and relief efforts by brothers and friends."

Investigation details corruption including nepotism in hiring the staff, depositing millions of dollars into staff accounts, suspected contracts, disappearance of tons of aid supplies and delivering them to Houthis, and allowing Houthi leaders to travel on UN cars, according to Eryani.

Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflictbetween the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.

The conflict hastriggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

On Monday, an AP report said more than ten UN aid workers, deployed to deal with the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, were accused of illicit gain, in particular cooperating with conflict powers from all parties, with the purpose of unjust enrichment from food, medicines, fuel and funds internationally donated.

The AP has obtained documents on UN internal investigations, and interviewed eight aid workers and government former officials on allegations that unqualified people were hired in high-waged posts, hundreds of thousands of dollars were deposited into workers' private accounts, tens of suspected contracts were approved without appropriate documents, and tons of donated medicines and fuel disappeared.

The UNICEF is conducting an investigation into one of its staff's allowing a Houthi leader to travel on one of its vehicles, to avoid potential airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition warplanes, said AP.

A UN expert panel secret report on Yemen, obtained by AP, says Houthis persistently pressure aid agencies into hiring staff loyal to the group and threatening them of visa cancelation to implement certain projects.

Valuable evidences collected by UN investigators from WHO staff were seized by Houthis last October at Sana'a airport, following a notification from a WHO staff member with links to the group, lest "aid funding theft is disclosed," according to the AP.

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