Thousands protest in Yemen against Saudi-led blockade

15 November, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Thousands protest in Yemen against Saudi-led blockade

Yemenia Airlines Chief Saleh Ba Hedile said in a statement at Cairo Airport that the flights resumed following the Saudi-led coalition lifted restriction on air travel to Yemen.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi reiterated at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in NY on Monday that closed seaports and airports will start reopening within the 24 hours promised late Sunday.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen shut down the country's entry points a week ago, after a missile attack was sacked by Houthis at Riyadh.

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. Their faces painted the colours of the Yemeni flag or in traditional dress, protesters marched to demand the end of a blockade on the country's ports, airports and border crossings, imposed last week by a Saudi-led military coalition battling the country's Huthi rebels.

On November 4 Saudi Arabia said it intercepted north or Riyadh is said was sacked from Yemen - blaming Iran for the incident, Saudi authorities accused Iran of "declaring war" on their country.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened. The Houthis have denied that.

United Nations, however, dismissed Saudi demand.

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"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters.

Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the reopening of the ports was for the "safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments" into Yemen.

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

Jamie McGoldrick said the north of the country had 20 days' stocks of diesel, which were crucial for pumping water and fighting a huge cholera outbreak, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers.

Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo, he added.

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