Houthis seize dozens of relief trucks: Yemen minister 

Armed Yemeni men hold their weapons as they gather in the capital Sanaa to show their support to the Houthis. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 January 2019
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Houthis seize dozens of relief trucks: Yemen minister 

  • Houthi fighters seized 72 WFP relief tracks headed to the province of Ibb
  • Houthi militia are preventing the arrival of relief for those in need in areas under their control

Houthi fighters seized 72 World Food Programme (WFP) relief tracks headed to the province of Ibb on Saturday, Minister of Local Administration and chairman of the Higher Committee for Relief in Yemen said.

The WFP the food assistance branch of the United Nations.

The WFP had last week accused the Houthis of stealing food aid dedicated to people affected by the conflict in regions under militia control.

“The Houthis are carrying out systematic work against relief operations in Yemen, starving the Yemeni people and deprive them of the most basic rights,” Abdul Raqeeb Saif Fateh told Yemen’s state news agency, Saba New.

Houthi militia are preventing the arrival of relief for those in need in areas under their control, the minister said.

Fateh called on UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande to intervene and pressure the Houthis to return the seized relief trucks.

“The Yemeni government will bring cases to the international courts against the Houthis who directly starve the Yemeni people and contribute to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in their areas of control,” he said. “The militia are the biggest violators of humanitarian operations in the world.”

The minister said the Yemeni government was working in coordination with donors and international organizations to ensure the delivery of relief aid and humanitarian materials to all governorates.

He requested the WFP implement an electronic fingerprint system in areas controlled by the Houthis to ensure better security for the distribution of aid and to avoid looting by the armed militia.

Fatah urged international relief organizations working in Yemen not to deal with the Houthis and to only deal with local organizations and partners which he said were “reliable, efficient, transparent and fair in their distribution.” 


Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sisi rule until 2030

Updated 21 April 2019
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Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sisi rule until 2030

  • Egyptian officials said the results should be ready in a week after the elections
  • Opposition parties asked voters to refuse the suggested changes

CAIRO: Egyptian pro-government media are urging a "Yes" vote on the second day of a nationwide referendum that would allow President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.
Polls reopened at 0700 GMT on Sunday. Voting will continue through Monday to allow maximum turnout, which the government hopes will lend the referendum legitimacy.
Election officials say results are expected within a week.
Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the changes, blasted by critics as a major step back to authoritarianism.
Voting comes amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military ouster of an elected but divisive president.
El-Sisi came to power in 2014 and was re-elected for a second four-year term last year.
Trucks with loudspeakers drove around central Cairo Sunday morning urging high turnout.