Riyadh- Yemen’s Ambassador to the UN Khaled Al-Yamani criticized on Tuesday the international body for not sending monitors to the port of Hodeidah, which was tantamount to “evasion of responsibility” towards the country and clear disregard to international humanitarian law.
The ambassador expressed his country’s deep regret over the failure of the UN to practice its true role in Yemen.
On Monday evening, the UN rejected a request from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen to place the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah under its supervision after an attack on a refugee boat last Sunday killed 42 Somalis out of the 140 refugees who were onboard.
“Parties to the conflict have a clear responsibility to protect civilian infrastructure and fundamentally to protect civilians. These are not obligations they can shift to others,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.
Houthi rebels control the port.
Yamani told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that Yemen’s legitimate government has repeatedly provided evidence that humanitarian supplies in Hodeidah were being used by rebel forces, stopping aid from reaching the Yemeni people.
The ambassador uncovered that the UN representative to Yemen has already rejected the establishment of a mechanism that would follow-up the delivery of humanitarian supplies to those in need.
“Yemen has not asked that the UN supervises maritime operations. Rather it has requested the presence of monitors who can reveal to the world what is really happening in Hodeidah port,” Yamani said.
He added: “Rebel forces still use the port for combat purposes, and they continue to allow the smuggling of weapons into Yemen.”
Haq said it was “essential that all parties to the conflict facilitate unhindered access to Yemen’s ports for humanitarian and commercial cargo, including Hodeidah port, which serves 70 percent of Yemen’s affected population.”
Al-Yamani said the rebel groups controlling the port were preventing the delivery of supplies to the Yemeni people.
“Yemenis can only find fuel in the black markets established by rebel forces,” he said.