Inspection of Yemen-bound vessels to begin in Aden after Red Sea attacks

Detection equipment and inspectors now in place at southern port, ministry says

Inspection of vessels bound for government-controlled areas of Yemen will be conducted at its southern port of Aden from January 1. AFP
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Yemen's internationally recognised government will begin inspecting all vessels bound for the country in Aden starting from January 1, in a move the Ministry of Transport said would provide a "stress-free destination" for ships amid Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

The Iran-backed rebels have launched attacks on several commercial vessels in support of Hamas in the war with Israel.

After the start of Yemen's civil war in 2015, vessels heading to government-controlled ports were instructed to undergo inspections in the Saudi port of Jeddah, before travelling to the country.

But in April, amid political momentum for a ceasefire, the government announced that the Saudi-led coalition lifted restrictions and commercial ships would be allowed to dock directly in Yemen's southern ports.

In statement issued on Thursday, the ministry the port of Aden was ready to begin inspecting vessels from January 1, with detection equipment and inspectors now in place at the port.

It said inspections would be carried out “in close co-operation and co-ordination with coalition forces”.

How could Houthi attacks in the Red Sea affect global trade?

How could Houthi attacks in the Red Sea affect global trade?

The port, south of the Red Sea, is equipped to receive all types of ships, the ministry said.

It said the plan to begin inspections in Aden was linked to the “ongoing tension in the southern part of the Red Sea” and that the goal was to provide a “stress-free destination for all commercial ships without the risk of traversing the Red Sea”.

For weeks, the waterway has been the scene of attacks by the Houthis, who said they would block Israeli ships in support of Hamas in Gaza.

However, many attacks have included non-Israeli ships, prompting major shipping companies to divert their vessels to alternative routes.

The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden are vital maritime routes, with about 10 per cent of annual global trade moving through the region.

The inspection of vessels heading to Houthi-controlled ports is conducted through the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen.

Updated: December 29, 2023, 10:43 AM