The United Nations said on Tuesday it was still waiting for Yemen’s Houthi group to authorize deployment of an assessment team to a decaying oil tanker that is threatening to spill 1.1 million barrels of crude oil off the war-torn country’s coast.
Two weeks ago, UN aid chief Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council that Houthi officials had agreed to allow a UN team to conduct a technical assessment and whatever initial repairs might be feasible on the Safer tanker.
UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths told the 15-member council on Tuesday: “We are still awaiting the permissions necessary for this team to deploy.”
FSO Safer, the tanker holding 1.1 million barrels of crude oil in the Red Sea off Yemen. (Twitter)
The Safer tanker has been stranded off Yemen’s Red Sea oil terminal of Ras Issa for more than five years. Earlier this month the Security Council called on the Houthis to facilitate unconditional UN access to the tanker as soon as possible.