Welcomed approval Houthis plans for UN assessment of SAFER oil tanker

UN official accuses Houthis of imposing directives "inconsistent" with humanitarian action

New Yourk (Debriefer)
2019-08-21 | Since 6 Month

UN Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

A senior UN official accused the Houthi group Ansar Allah on Tuesday of imposition of 50 directives on humanitarian action, all of which contradict each other, hampered humanitarian action in a country witnessed a bloody power struggle for the fifth year.

Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ursula Mueller said in briefing to the security council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen that Humanitarian agencies continue to face severe restrictions."

"In the north, Ansar Allah-affiliated authorities have imposed more than 50 formal directives and dozens of informal directives in recent months. These directives at times overlap or contradict each other. They are further complicated by a continuous stream of unofficial changes and new policies. Currently, more than 100 humanitarian projects are awaiting agreement by Ansar Allah-affiliated authorities in the north." she said.

The UN official said: "Thirty-two of the 39 projects are stuck with Ansar Allah-affiliated authorities in the north, while the rest are awaiting approval by the Government of Yemen. On average, they have been stalled for more than 90 days."

Mueller pointed out that after months of discussion, the World Food Programme and Ansar Allah-affiliated authorities have now signed an agreement that includes detailed technical procedures to protect food aid from diversion. 

"Ansar Allah authorities have also approved plans for a UN assessment of the SAFER oil tanker, as mentioned by the special envoy. After years without maintenance, the tanker is at risk of rupturing. The SAFER is storing an estimated 1.1 million barrels of oil. A spill would create a major environmental and humanitarian disaster.", she said.

On the 18th of this July, the UN humanitarian chieftold the Security Council that Houthi had refused again to give UN officials permits to visit SAFER oil tanker, as the vessel risking the leakage of 1.1 million barrels into the Red Sea.

The UN assessment team intended to examine the vessel next week, Mark Lowcock said in his briefing to the UNSC, but "the needed permits are still pending at Houthi authorities.

Should the vessel erode or explode, "we could see polluted coast along the Red Sea. Based on the period of time and movement of water currents, the leakage could expand from Bab al-Mandeb to Suez Canal,or even the Strait of Hormuz," the UN official warned.

The Yemeni state-owned Safir is a vessel that was turned to SAFER oil tanker. Since 2014, it has been within the range of Houthi fire, and received no repairs, despite its overdue life expectancy.

Yemen has been racked by a 5-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 has triggered hard humanitarian conditions and the world's worst humanitarian crisis,according to the UN, while leaving most population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection.


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