Security Council urges concrete Houthi steps over FSO Safer Tanker

Debriefer
2020-07-16 | Since 4 Minute

NEW YORK (Debriefer)--The United Nations Security Council has urged the Houthi Group to take concrete steps without delay over the issue of the Safer floating storage and offloading tanker off Yemen's western coast.

After a meeting on the Issue on Thursday, president of the council, Christoph Heusgen, said executive director of the UN environment programme, Inger Anderson, and the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, Mark Lowcock, briefed the council on environmental and humanitarian dangers posed by the decaying tanker.

On 27 May, there were reports water was leaking into the engine room of the tanker, which has been abandoned and not inspected for five years.

The members of the council have expressed their dismay over the increasing possibility of explosion or further decay of the tanker that will result in an environment and humanitarian disaster in Yemen and neighbouring countries, Heusgen said.

They acknowledged the Houthi approval to allow a UN team to access the tanker and called on the Houthis to translate their approval into a concrete action soon, he said, stressing on unconditional facilities for UN experts who will inspect, assess and conduct any possible urgent repairs to the tanker.

At the meeting, Lowcock hoped UN experts will be sent to the country in coming weeks.

I have briefed you 15 times during the past 15 minutes on the condition of the tanker, he told the council, expressing regret that the council has not taken action yet. Now both the government and the Houthis have agreed to allow to UN experts to access the ship, he said, pointing out that the Houthis in the past had put preconditions for that.

"The Ansar Allah authorities asked for assurances that repairs should be conducted along with the assessment process. We would like to do that and have changed the plan which now includes conducting initial repairs," Lowcock said.

"A spill from the decaying oil tanker, SAFER, off the Yemen coast could directly affect 1.6 million Yemenis - many of whom already depend on humanitarian aid. I briefed the UN Security Council on the situation. The UN remains ready to address the problem," he said.

From her side, Anderson warned any crude spill will also affect Djibouti, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia.

Crude spill will affect the movement of 20.000 crude ships that pass through the Bab Al-Mandab strait and then paralyse one of the busiest waterways in the world, she said.

The UN said it has sent the Houthis the details of the mission of the UN experts who will inspect the tanker and it is now looking for a reply from them.

 


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