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Yemen Dismisses Saudi Claim of Removing Hudaydah Siege

23 December 2017 17:06

 

The Yemeni government rejected Saudi Arabia’s claims that it has reopened the strategic port of Hudaydah in Yemen to send humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country.

“The Yemeni transportation ministry precisely pursues developments related to al-Hudaydeh port and strongly rejects the Saudi ambassador’s claims in his al-Jazeera news channel interview that four cranes have entered the port as well as other things that are claimed in the satellite channels and websites about the removal of the siege,” the ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia declared it would open a vital port in war-ravaged Yemen to ease the humanitarian crisis, following pressure from Britain.

The kingdom said the port of Hudaydah would remain open to humanitarian and commercial ships for a month.

The Saudi-led coalition has long imposed a blockade of Yemen’s air and sea ports and borders and has intensified the siege after the missile was fired at Riyadh, citing concerns that weapons were being smuggled into Yemen.

The siege has pushed the impoverished country into a humanitarian catastrophe.

A recent survey showed that almost one third of families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products or meat.

More than 3 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 need support to prevent or cure malnutrition.

The United Nations has also warned that 8.4 million people in war-torn Yemen are “a step away from famine”, as Saudi Arabia and its allies are ceaselessly pounding the impoverished country.

“The lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, shelter and nutrition support,” Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement earlier this month.

“The continuing blockade of ports is limiting supplies of fuel, food and medicines, dramatically increasing the number of vulnerable people who need help,” he added.

The United Nations had warned that millions of people will die in Yemen, in what will be the world’s worst famine crisis in decades, unless the Saudi-led military coalition ends its devastating blockade and allows aid into the country.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 15,200 Yemenis, mostly civilians.

Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

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