United Nations dismisses the Saudi demand to re-open the Yemen Port

UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a November 4 ballistic missile attack on Riyadh near its global airport by the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

Iran denies arming the Houthis and blames the conflict in Yemen on Riyadh. Yemen's national airline said on Tuesday a commercial flight had landed at Aden worldwide airport after acquiring security permits. The north of the country, home to 78 percent of the population, had 20 days' stocks of diesel, crucial for pumping water and fighting cholera, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon, he said.

"There is no embargo", Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said.

An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition put Yemeni airport in the Houthi-controlled capital Sana'a out of service today, jeopardising relief shipments to a country on the brink of starvation, the state news agency SABA reported.

Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels, said the airport's runway had also been damaged, claiming fix crews were already at work.

So far, the only thing that putting the country on total lockdown has accomplished, according to the United Nations aid coordinator in Yemen, is "an already dire humanitarian situation".


Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who is based in Amman, said UN staff had visited the airport and spoken with authorities there. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable". Since then, Yemen has suffered devastating and indiscriminate airstrikes launched by a Saudi-led coalition to restore Hadi to power.

Saudi Arabia and the USA have accused Iran of supplying the ballistic missile used in that attack.

"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.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said. Reuters reported on Tuesday that the United Nations coordinator Jamie McGoldrick called on the the coalition to open the seaports, immediately.

Despite the Saudi announcement, a top leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels on Monday vowed retaliation against the oil-rich kingdom over its blockade of his war-torn country.

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