Riyadh-The Saudi-led Arab coalition battling insurgents in support of Yemen’s U.N.-backed government has stressed that it is not imposing an economic siege on the country.
“The coalition is not imposing a siege or an economic boycott on Yemeni territory,” the Riyadh-based coalition said in a statement
The coalition “is fulfilling its duties towards implementing U.N. resolutions that aim to prevent weapons and ammunitions” reaching Yemen, it added.
The statement asked international humanitarian organizations for assuming their responsibilities towards the urgent humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people and urged them to commit to international standards to guarantee the delivery of aid to all Yemeni regions equally.
It also made an urgent call to lift the siege on areas besieged by the insurgents and remove checkpoints that prevent aid from reaching regions under the authority of the legitimate government, and to intensify field visits to them, according to the provisions of international humanitarian law and relevant international norms.
“Coalition forces give immediate and regular permits to all aid ships to reach all Yemeni ports, without being inspected,” said the statement released late Friday.
As for commercial shipments, it said that teams from the U.N., the coalition and Yemen authorities inspect them, insisting that 1,462 permits have been so far granted, including for ships heading to the Red Sea port of Hudaida that is controlled by insurgents.
The “humanitarian catastrophe” in Yemen is not caused by a lack in food or fuel supplies, the coalition said, accusing Houthis of “creating a black market.”
The statement said Hudaida port is known as the biggest port for smuggling.
“Insurgents have sought to create the black market for oil derivatives, humanitarian aid and commercial items to fund their activities and give personal profits to their leaders to use them as a political bargaining chip by imposing a siege and systematic starvation policy on provinces and cities such as what is happening in Taiz,” it added.