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Saudi-led coalition continues acts of piracy against Yemen amid UN inaction: YPC spokesman

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)
In this file picture, a coast guard walks past a ship docked at the Red Sea port of Hudaydah, western Yemen. (By Reuters)

A top Yemeni energy spokesman has condemned the Saudi-led coalition, which is waging a devastating military campaign and enforcing a tight blockade against Yemen, over its detention of oil tankers bound for the country, stating that the trend goes on amid the United Nations’ inaction.

Essam al-Mutawakel, a spokesman for the Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC), told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Sunday that the seizure of fuel ships destined for the impoverished Arab country falls within the framework of the Riyadh-led alliance’s acts of piracy

He said the acts of piracy did not stop even during the UN-sponsored ceasefire, which lasted for six months and expired on October 2 after warring parties failed to agree on an extension.

Mutawakel argued that the United Nations supports the “pirates” of oil tankers and gives them full cover, adding, “The world body should preserve neutrality and refrain from taking sides with the party that impounds fuel tankers.”

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According to Mutawakel, the confiscation of Yemen-bound ships incurs huge fines, which will be levied on the Yemeni nation at large.

The YPC spokesman further said that Yemen does not possess the infrastructure necessary to store the required amount of fuel, meaning that the seizure of oil ships destined for Yemen will adversely affect fuel supplies in the country.

He called for the unimpeded entry of oil tankers into Yemen’s Hudaydah port and held the Saudi-led coalition and the United Nations responsible for the continuation of piracy and its consequences.

Mutawakel also asked the United Nations to impartially deal with the Saudi-led coalition’s acts of piracy.

On Saturday, Mutawakel said in a tweet that the Saudi-led coalition had banned a Yemen-bound ship carrying tons of fuel from docking at Hudaydah port.

He said the coalition seized the ship named Gh Austen, which was carrying thousands of tons of gasoline, despite securing UN clearance.

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The latest incident brings to five the number of fuel ships impounded by the coalition despite having undergone inspection, the senior Yemeni energy official noted.

Mutawakel called on the international community, the UN Security Council, and international human rights organizations to pressure the coalition of aggression to quickly release the detained fuel ships and not to such acts in the future.

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 Mansour Hadi and crush the popular 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.

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