SANAA (Debriefer)--The Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, on Saturday expressed dismay over statements by UN officials about Yemen's Safer tanker, describing the statements as misleading and aimed at covering the UN's delay in implementing an agreement for immediate assessment and maintenance of the tanker.
The group's committee on implementing the Safer agreement with the UN denied remarks by the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stéphane Dujarric that the committee had put forward further requests.
It accused the UN of hiding some facts, clarifying that agreement stated that maintenance to the tanker should be conducted by UN experts and a national team on 8th February. But the UN later rejected the participation of the national team without justification, breaching the agreement, it said.
The tanker, moored off the Yemeni western coast with more than 1.1 million barrels of crude oil on board, has not has maintenance since 2015. Its equipment has deteriorated and it is now facing the risk of explosion of sinking. Its condition is raising concerns about a humanitarian an economic catastrophe if an oil spill occurs.
In addition, the UN submitted the names of the experts late, on 14th February, the committee said, pointing out that passports of some of the experts were not valid.
The UN decided to repair the tanker on 15th February and postponed the arrival of the experts to March, it said, calling on the UN to demonstrate seriousness about implementing the agreement and to stop making misleading statements.
Unfortunately, the UN has encountered some new delays after recent additional requests from the Houthis, Dujarric said in a statement on the UN news website on Wednesday.
"And those additional requests focus on logistics and security arrangements. We are talking to them now to try to resolve these issues. Because of this, it’s now difficult to say exactly when the mission could be deployed given these developments".
"Unfortunately, we cannot finalize mission preparations until all of the issues are resolved. Those discussions are ongoing," he added, according to the website.