Houthi rebels in Yemen are preventing ships from unloading critical fuel and food supplies at Hodeidah port, state-owned Saba agency reports.
The Iran-backed fighters have detained 10 oil and commercial vessels, with the ships’ crews prevented from unloading cargo, including fuel and critical food supplies, said the head of Yemen’s Supreme Relief Committee Abdulraqeeb Fatah on Saturday.
These included the Distya Pushti, a tanker flying the Indian flag, which anchored in Hodeidah on 28 September carrying 10,955 tonnes of diesel and 9,025 tonnes of petrol, and the cargo vessel RINA docked in the port with 5,700 tonnes of flour and sugar. Other ships have also been held in Hodeidah for up to six months, Mr Fatah claimed.
Mr Fatah said the ships were being held by the rebels in order to exacerbate the country's fuel crisis in a bid to increase costs on the rebel-controlled black market. He called on the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande to push for the release of the ships and the unloading of the cargo.
There was no immediate response from the Houthis.