The government of the Houthis (Ansar Allah) group has accused Saudi Arabia of preventing the entry of people from the northern provinces of Yemen to perform Umrah for the current season.
According to minister of Awqaf in the Houthi government, Ismail Daifallah, Houthi-run Yemen's "Saba" news agency reported that "The Saudi authorities have prevented the entry of Yemeni pilgrims from the northern provinces,".
Daifallah claimed that the Saudi authorities returned them from the Al-Wadiah land crossing despite they obtained the necessary visa for Umrah, under the pretext that they are from areas under the management of the Supreme Political Council and the Government of National Salvation.
The minister of Awqaf in Sana'a expressed his rejection of what he called "the politicization of Hajj and Umrah.", adding that "It is the right of every Muslim to perform Hajj and Umrah, and no one has the right to prevent him or to prevent him from visiting the house of God."
He expressed regret for the blessing of the Yemen's internationally recognized government these arbitrary measures against the Yemeni pilgrims, saying that it "represents an insult to the Yemeni citizen in general."
In early December, the Yemeni "legitimate" government issued a decree banning passports from areas under the control of the Houthis group and issued a circular to embassies of all countries not to deal with passports issued by the Houthis as of January 2016.
In mid-April, the Yemeni government decided to "abolish" the services provided by the Immigration and Passports Authority in the capital, Sana'a, which is controlled by the Houthis group (Ansar Allah) and the invalidity of its supporting documents.
The government has stipulated that "legitimate" passengers traveling outside Yemen must obtain passports from the governorates under their control, including Aden and Marib. Citizens complain of these actions, which incurred large financial losses such as travel expenses, accommodation and travel during the travel trip, the cities of Marib and Aden, security challenges and mobility conditions.
The inability of the Passports Department in Aden and Marib to absorb the arrivals from the areas of control of the Houthis and the delayed issuance of passports, which in some cases led to the death of patients pending completion of the procedures.
Saudi Arabia has banned passport holders from the Houthi control areas, which are limited in number, according to news reports earlier this month.
The passengers added that the Saudi authorities allowed the entry of passports issued before 2015 as well as issued by the areas of the "legitimate" government after that date, and also prevented the entry of holders of passports issued from the areas of control of the "legitimate" government and other issued by embassies abroad, including Saudi Arabia itself, a kind of passport that does not carry the slogan "Yemeni Republican Bird" in the cover of the passport.
Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iranian-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.
The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, triggering the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection.