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Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen's air and seaports within next 24 hours

15 November, 2017, 01:09 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

Speaking on behalf of the Kingdom, Saudi Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Abdullah al-Mouallimi said that the Coalition would start opening the ports and airports in the liberated areas.

It's been about a week since Saudi Arabia locked down Yemen's land borders, air space, and seaports, because, it said, it wants to stop the flow of Iranian weapons to the Houthi rebels that the US -backed, Saudi-led coalition has been bombing for two years.

The House of Representatives on Monday held its first ever debate over US military engagement in the civil war raging in Yemen and passed a non-binding resolution calling on parties to wage the conflict humanely and work toward bringing it to an end. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran. The Houthis have denied that.

Seven million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, according to the United Nations, and are relying nearly exclusively on aid to feed themselves.




After a November 4 ballistic missile attack near the Riyadh global airport by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia had announced it shut down all ports in Yemen.

Iran-backed rebels Yemen have accused Saudi Arabia of blowing up part of the capital's airport and preventing much-needed aid from entering the country. The resolution does not address whether USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in the conflict triggers the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which lawmakers are split over.

"The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by" Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the coalition backs, read the mission's statement. More than two-thirds of the people in need and 80 per cent of all cholera cases in Yemen are closest to the two ports, which are both in rebel-held territory.

All humanitarian flights to Sanaa airport and all humanitarian and commercial vessel movements to the seaports of Hudaydah and Saleef have remained blocked since November 6, when the Saudi-led military coalition imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Yemen, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric quoted the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) as saying. The port of Aden controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia but does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo.

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