UN urges Iran-backed Houthis to grant access to abandoned ‘Safer’ oil tanker in Yemen

FSO Safer, the tanker holding 1.1 million barrels of crude oil in the Red Sea off Yemen. (Twitter)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the Iran-backed Houthi militia to allow an assessment team to travel to a decaying oil tanker that is threatening to spill 1.1 million barrels of crude oil off Yemen’s coast.

More than a month ago Houthi officials said they would agree to allow a UN mission to conduct a technical assessment and whatever initial repairs might be feasible on the Safer tanker. But the United Nations is still waiting for formal authorization.

Guterres is “deeply concerned” about the condition of the oil tanker, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

The United Nations has warned that the Safer could spill four times as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster off Alaska.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“He specifically calls for granting independent technical experts unconditional access to the tanker to assess its condition and conduct any possible initial repairs,” Dujarric said. “This ... will provide crucial scientific evidence for next steps to be taken in order to avert catastrophe.”

The Safer tanker has been stranded off Yemen’s Red Sea oil terminal of Ras Issa for more than five years. The UN Security Council has also called on the Houthis to facilitate unconditional access as soon as possible.

Read more:

US calls on Yemen’s Houthis to facilitate UN assessments of Safer oil tanker: Pompeo

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis threaten to blow up abandoned oil tanker: Analyst

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Friday, 14 August 2020 KSA 21:34 - GMT 18:34
Top