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Yemen lost over $28mn in 2020 by Saudi detention of fuel tankers: YPC

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC)’s Executive Director Ammar al-Adhra’i is speaking during a protest gathering in the capital Sana’a, February 19, 2021. (Photo by al-Masirah)

The Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) says the estimated economic damages incurred by the Saudi-led military coalition’s insistence on preventing dozens of tankers from unloading essential consignments and its “maritime piracy” on fuel ships exceeded 28 million dollars in 2020.

YPC’s Executive Director Ammar al-Adhra'i announced the grim news during a protest gathering by the company’s employees in the capital Sana’a on Friday.

He said 26 million Yemenis were suffering because of “the acts of maritime piracy” being committed by the coalition.

The direct or indirect economic loss caused by the illegal conduct of impounding Yemen-bound oil-laden vessels off the coast of the war-ravaged country, he said, exceeded 28 million and 800 thousand dollars last year, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates, decided that their coalition should reinstate former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi of Yemen, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Ansarullah movement. The war on Yemen began.

Neither of the objectives has been accomplished.

Since August the same year, the coalition has been enforcing a tight naval blockade on Yemen, particularly on the strategic western port city of Hudaydah, which acts as a lifeline for the impoverished nation.

The invaders are also pressing ahead with various acts of maritime piracy in order to prevent ships carrying oil derivatives, natural gas as well as fuel from docking at Yemeni ports, including Hudaydah.

Elsewhere in his remarks, al-Adhra'i said some of the Yemen-bound oil vessels had been impounded for more than 300 days.

He criticized UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths for claiming at the UN Security Council that the average period of detention for tankers would not exceed 75 days.

The YPC’s chief further held the Saudi-led coalition and the United States responsible for the current situation in Yemen.

Al-Adhra'i also warned that the impounding of Yemen-bound fuel vessels and the maritime piracy would cause a humanitarian disaster.

The YPC “is a service company, providing various services for all Yemenis, service sectors, and humanitarian and relief organizations,” he added.

Al-Adhra'i also called on the free people of the world, jurists, activists, and the media, to stand by the Yemeni people.

The Saudi war and siege on Yemen have made at least 80 percent of the country's 28-million-strong population reliant on aid to survive in what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

UN agencies have already warned that about 400,000 Yemeni children aged under five are in danger of losing life this year due to acute malnutrition.

The war has also destroyed or closed half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics, leaving the people helpless, particularly at a time when they are in desperate need of medical supplies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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