Saudi Arabia to Reopen Some of Yemen’s Sea and Airports After International Outrage
By Reem Tolba
Almost two weeks ago, Yemen’s Shiites rebels, known as Houthis, fired four ballistic missiles that were intercepted near Riyadh’s global airport. In response to that, the Saudi-led coalition closed down Yemen’s land, sea and airports a week ago. This blockade was deemed hysterical to Yemenis as it hindered the UN aid to the state.
“Between 80 and 90 percent of food imports are coming in through these ports, prior to the crisis. And if these channels, these lifelines, are not kept open, it is catastrophic for people who are already in what we have already labeled the world’s worst humanitarian crisis at the moment,” Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said last week.
However, after a lot of international ourtrage, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative declared that it will ease the blockade over Yemen’s borders within 24 hours; in order to permit humanitarian aid shipments to war-torn Yemen.
“We would like to confirm that steps are being taken by the Saudi-led coalition in full consultation and agreement with the Government of Yemen, to start the process of reopening airports and seaports in Yemen to allow for the safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments,” the Saudi statement said.