UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

The army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 September 2018

UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

  • A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations
  • Yemen’s army killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada

JEDDAH: Yemen’s High Relief Committee (HRC) has condemned an attack by the Houthi militia, which targeted a truck carrying relief supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Hodeidah.
The committee said in a press statement that the Iranian-backed militia had bombed a truck carrying relief and humanitarian aid for the residents of the Al-Tahita directorate, killing the driver.
The statement added that the committee has previously alerted to such actions by the Houthis, which are aimed at obstructing the safe access of relief materials to the directorates of Al-Tahita and Al-Drehami, in particular, and other directorates in Hodeidah province, in general, and have a direct impact on the humanitarian situation in the area.
Yemeni Minister of Local Administration and HRC Chairman, Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, blamed the Houthi militia for impeding rapid humanitarian access to those in need, the bombing of trucks and relief vessels in Hodeidah port, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the province.
He said in a statement to the official Yemeni news agency that the “continuous and guaranteed targeting of relief trucks and field personnel, especially from UN organizations, by the Houthi militants places the United Nations and other organizations in a position of humanitarian and moral responsibility to defend its staff working in the humanitarian field in Yemen.”
Fatah called on Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lisa Grande, to condemn the “criminal act, which contravenes all international and humanitarian laws,” and to notify the UN, including the Security Council, of all violations committed by the Houthi militias against relief work and to make the necessary and significant solutions to stop these acts and violations.
The minister denounced the continued silence of the humanitarian affairs coordinator and international organizations on these incidents as unacceptable, calling on the international community to take full responsibility for the suffering of the people in Hodeidah and to take the necessary measures to immediately halt all violations by militias against relief efforts, especially since the terrorist group has committed many violations that have paralyzed the work of relief organizations and kidnapped many relief and humanitarian workers in the province.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s army, backed by the Arab Coalition, killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada, according to Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya.
A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations.
Elsewhere, the army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost.


Egypt holds full-honors military funeral for Hosni Mubarak

Updated 1 min 49 sec ago

Egypt holds full-honors military funeral for Hosni Mubarak

  • The Republican Guard carried Mubarak’s casket wrapped in the Egyptian flag
  • To the outside world, Mubarak the strongman symbolized so much of Egypt’s modern history

CAIRO: Egypt was holding a full-honors military funeral Wednesday for the country’s former autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who was for decades the face of stability in the Middle East but who was ousted from power in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that swept much of the region.
A few dozen Mubarak supporters, clad in black and carrying posters of the former president, had gathered since morning hours at a mosque complex in an eastern New Cairo neighborhood, where Mubarak’s body was brought for the funeral service.
The Republican Guard carried Mubarak’s casket wrapped in the Egyptian flag.
The 91-year-old Mubarak died on Tuesday at a Cairo military hospital from heart and kidney complications, according to medical documents obtained by The Associated Press. He was admitted to hospital on Jan. 21 with intestinal obstruction and underwent surgery, after which he was treated in intensive care.
To the outside world, Mubarak the strongman symbolized so much of Egypt’s modern history but his rule of nearly 30 years ended after hundreds of thousands of young Egyptians rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, forcing him to step down.
Perhaps ironically, Mubarak’s funeral service was held at the Tantawi Mosque in eastern Cairo, named for now retired Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who headed the military council that ran Egypt following Mubarak’s ouster and until the election of Islamist President Muhammed Morsi in 2012.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended the service, which was to be followed later in the day by burial at the cemetery in Heliopolis, an upscale Cairo district that was Mubarak’s home for most of his rule and where he lived until his death.
On Tuesday, El-Sisi extended condolences to the former president’s family, including his widow Suzanne and two sons, wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal.
In a statement, El-Sisi praised Mubarak’s service during the 1973 war with Israel but made no mention of his rule as president of the most populous Arab state. Three days of national mourning were to begin Wednesday, El-Sisi announced.
Pro-government media paid tribute to Mubarak, focusing on his role in the 1973 war with Israel when Mubarak, a pilot by training, commanded Egypt’s air force.
“Through his military and political career, Mubarak made undeniable achievements and sacrifices,” the state-run Al-Aharm newspaper eulogized Mubarak in its editorial Wednesday.
Born in May 1928, Mubarak was vice president on Oct. 6, 1981, when his mentor, President Anwar Sadat, was assassinated by Islamic extremists while reviewing a military parade. Seated next to Sadat, Mubarak escaped with a minor hand injury as gunmen sprayed the reviewing stand with bullets. Eight days later, the brawny former air force commander was sworn in as president, promising continuity and order.
Mubarak’s rule was marked by a close alliance with the US in the fight against Islamic militancy and assisting regional peace efforts. Many older Egyptians, who had long considered him invincible, were stunned by the images of Mubarak on a gurney bed being taken to court for sessions of his trial in Cairo following his ouster.
Mubarak’s overthrow plunged Egypt into years of chaos and uncertainty, and set up a power struggle between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood group that he had long outlawed. Some two and a half years after Mubarak’s ouster, El-Sisi led the military overthrow of Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mursi, and rolled back freedoms gained in the 2011 uprising.
In June 2012, Mubarak and his security chief were sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18-day uprising. Both appealed the verdict and a higher court later cleared them in 2014.
The following year, Mubarak and his sons were sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges during a retrial. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while Mubarak walked free in 2017.