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Saudi-led coalition seizes another Yemen-bound fuel tanker in breach of UN-mediated truce

This file picture shows a cargo ship and oil tanker ships sitting idle while docked at the port of Hudaydah, Yemen. (By Reuters)

The Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) says the Saudi-led coalition has seized another Yemen-bound ship carrying tons of diesel fuel, in flagrant violation of a UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement.

The YPC said in a statement on Tuesday that the Saudi-led coalition’s piracy takes place while the United Nations keeps silent, adding that the UN officials’ claims about peace and ceasefire are “false.”

“The aggressor coalition's insistence on intensifying the siege and repeatedly violating the ceasefire takes place in line with the coalition's crimes against the Yemeni nation,” the statement added.

The incident brings to 13 the number of fuel ships impounded by the coalition despite having undergone inspection, the YPC said.

The latest development comes almost a week after the Saudi-led coalition seized two more Yemen-bound oil tankers carrying thousands of tons of fuel for the conflict-plagued country.

The Riyadh-led military alliance did not give the tankers, which were carrying tens of thousands of tons of petrol each, the permission to dock at Yemen’s western port of Hudaydah and offload their shipments, according to Essam al-Mutawakel, a spokesman for the YPC.

He added that the vessels were impounded despite being inspected and cleared for the port call by the United Nations staff.

Last month, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said the extended UN-sponsored truce, running from August 2 to October 2, included a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible.

Under the terms of the truce, commercial flights have resumed from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a to Jordan and Egypt, while oil tankers have been able to dock in the lifeline port city of al-Hudaydah.

Moreover, in line with the agreement, the coalition agreed to end its attacks on Yemeni soil and end a simultaneous siege that it has been enforcing against Yemen.

Yemen has, however, reported many violations of the truce by the Saudi-led forces.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

A United Nations-brokered truce came into force in April between the coalition and Ansarullah. The truce has been extended twice ever since.

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