Saudi aid official wants Yemen ceasefire

Flames rise from the A building of Public Electricity Corporation branch after a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's western city of Hodeidah. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia would like to see a ceasefire in Yemen to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid, but it does not trust the Houthi militias to abide by such a truce, the head of a Saudi center that coordinates humanitarian assistance for Yemen said on Monday.

The Iranian-allied Houthis and forces loyal to former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh seized the capital, Sanaa, a year ago. The Saudi-led coalition began bombing them in March in a bid to restore President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi’s authority.

A Saudi soldier stands guard as servicemen on a Saudi military cargo plane prepare to unload aid at the international airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden. (Reuters)

A Saudi soldier stands guard as servicemen on a Saudi military cargo plane prepare to unload aid at the international airport of Yemen's southern port city of Aden. (Reuters)

“From our previous experience the ceasefire was not acknowledged and it was violated,” Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the five-month-old King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, told reporters. “If there is a ceasefire it has to be a realistic ceasefire.”

Several attempts at a humanitarian truce have failed with the warring parties blaming each other for violations.

The United Nations has designated Yemen as one of its highest-level humanitarian crises, alongside emergencies in South Sudan, Syria and Iraq. It says more than 21 million people in Yemen need help, or about 80 percent of the population.

In a bid to increase commercial shipments to Yemen, U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien said the United Nations had come up with its mechanism to inspect any suspicious vessels approaching Yemen’s ports but was still trying to raise the $8 million needed for it to be operational.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47
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