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

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.” 


Security Council warns of ‘risk of dispersion’ of Syria extremists

Updated 12 min 30 sec ago

Security Council warns of ‘risk of dispersion’ of Syria extremists

  • All 15 Council members including Russia agreed on the danger of Daesh regrouping

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council warned in a unanimously adopted statement Wednesday of a risk of “dispersion” of extremist prisoners in Syria, but stopped short of calling for a halt to Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces there.
“Members of the Security Council expressed deep concerns over the risks of dispersion of terrorists from UN-designated groups, including ISIL,” the statement said, using an acronym for the Daesh group.
All 15 Council members including Russia, a key player in the conflict, declared themselves “very concerned (about) a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation” in northeastern Syria.
All were in agreement on the danger of Daesh regrouping, summed up a Western ambassador, who requested anonymity.
The short text proposed by France was adopted following a brief meeting held at the request of European members of the Council.
It does not condemn the Turkish offensive — which the United States is seen as having green-lighted by withdrawing troops from northeastern Syria — nor does it call for the operation to stop.
At a previous meeting late last week, Russia and China blocked the Council adoption of two separate texts calling for a halt to the offensive — one sponsored by European members Germany, Belgium, France, Britain and Poland — and the other by the United States.
Europeans and Americans on the Security Council have since been coordinating their efforts more closely, said a Western diplomat under cover of anonymity.
Almost a week of deadly bombardment and fighting in northeastern Syria has killed dozens of civilians, mostly on the Kurdish side, and prompted at least 160,000 to flee their homes.
The Turkish invasion has also forced the withdrawal of several non-governmental organizations providing assistance to victims of the Syrian conflict, which has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since 2011.