The Saudi-Led Arabian Coalition forces in Yemen apprehended, on Feb. 16, a U.N. vessel shipping cipher machinery. The gadgets were hidden within the ship’s structure next to sustenance and medical supplies.
A U.N. spokeswoman claimed that the confiscated items belong to the ship’s crew. However, some perceived it as an attempt to repudiate responsibility of what had happened.
Abeer Etefa, Middle East Spokeswoman for the WFP (U.N. World Food Programme), told Asharq Al-Awsat that the hired ship belonging to the WFP had set sail from Djibouti to Hudaydah port carrying humanitarian relief support.
The U.N. made calls to the coalition’s forces, after the ship was blocked from its course, for identifying the causes behind the confinement. The ship’s course was later altered towards Jizan port.
Etefa averred that the U.N. had confirmed its full awareness of the presence of the communication devices which belong to the U.N. mission team abroad the ship in Yemen. She clarified that the gadgets are validated for WFP use by the U.N.
Communication devices found on the ship are specified to connect U.N. relief organizations working in Yemen, Etefa explained.
Coalition forces in Jizan required the U.N. office to present documents regarding communication devices the relief missions in Yemen operate on. WFP spokeswoman Etefa pointed out that there are precursors on the vessel making sail from Jizan to the Hudaydah port.
U.N. missions work through several ports in Yemen, and the Houthi-rebel-held Hudaydah port is one of them, Etefa confirmed. The port is considered the largest one in the country, given it serves a large number of areas in Yemen.
Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, Military Advisor to the Saudi Minister of Defense, told Asharq Al-Awsat that misleading action and behavior of affiliates transferring medical and sustenance relief reflects negatively on the WFP. “The people of Yemen are not in need of communication (…) they are in need of relief and medical aid”, Brig. Gen. Assiri added.