Saudi Coalition Siege Puts 25 million Yemenis at Risk
While Yemenis were waiting for the arrival of gasoline ship “Sea Adore” on January 16, after obtaining an entry permit to Hodeida port, after being inspected by United Nations Protection and Inspection Commission (UNVIM), the official spokesperson of Yemeni Oil Company, Issam Al-Mutawakel, announced that US-Saudi-Emirati-coalition prevented the ambulance ship from entering Hodeida port and taking it off Jizan coast.
Investigation / Abdul Qadir Othman
The blockade imposed on Yemen by US-Saudi aggression coalition on fuel, humanitarian aid and basic commodities, and preventing them from reaching the civilians in Yemen, portends the deterioration of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, unless the international community and the United Nations move to compel the coalition of aggression to immediately stop piracy and impound fuel ships, aid ships and commercial goods from reaching civilians through the port of Hodeida, an imminent disaster will occur. Yesterday, the director of oil company, Ammar Al-Adra’i, warned that the blockade puts 25 million Yemenis at risk.
Human Rights has previously called on the Security Council to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on senior coalition leaders, including Mohammed bin Salman.
The fuel crisis has reached its climax during the last four weeks. Fuel is no longer available for cars. Yemenis find it difficult to move and travel between their provinces, as for hospitals, power and water stations, factories and transport trucks, they are threatened with complete shutdown after the oil company’s inability to provide the necessary needs for them, because of the ongoing siege imposed by the coalition.
Since the beginning of the war on Yemen in March 2015, the US-Saudi coalition of aggression has imposed a sea and air blockade on Yemen, and stressed its restrictions on the flow of food, fuel and medicine to civilians, in violation to international humanitarian law, the coalition of aggression closed all entry points to Yemen, in some cases, only some commercial ships were allowed to enter, but since the beginning of the year 2021, he tightened the closure and blockade and practiced open piracy of cargo ships, fuel, goods and medicines.
It continues to this day in preventing the arrival of many fuel and aid ships and all commercial imports from reaching Hodeida port. This has catastrophic and illegal effects on the availability of basic commodities and fuel to civilians in Yemen.
- The coalition of aggression is seizing fuel ships heading to Hodeida port and pirate from international waters in the Red Sea, where it sets up checkpoints where ships detained by dozens of blockade ships of Saudi and American navies that are stationed in the middle of international waters in the Red Sea.
- The coalition of aggression is seizing fuel ships after arresting and hijacking them from international waters on her way from the port of Djibouti after being inspected by UN office، which grants her access permits to the port of Hodeida.
- The coalition of aggression is taking the ships to the port of Jizan, and he keeps it there with its crews for periods of up to a whole year, which doubles the shipping costs and the high cost of importing, in addition, it is forbidden to enter commodities ships permanently, and recently he seized the fuel ships permanently, he did not allow the arrival of any ship after holding it for long periods of time and then releasing it.
- During the year 2021, the coalition of aggression pirated 26 diesel, petrol and gas ships, of which seven ships were permanently prevented from reaching Hodeida port. He forced her to leave with her shipments to other places after being detained for a period of up to 330 days, as in the ship Bundage Victory.
- 19 of the ships that headed to the port of Hodeida were pirated by the coalition of aggression and taken to Jizan port, he held her for periods of up to six months and then allowed her access, and the rest of ships were forced to leave.
- During the year 2021, the coalition of aggression escalated its siege more than in previous years, as it detained all ships that headed towards Hodeida port, and every ship took a long detention period, it also doubled the length of detention more than in previous years, he also prevented some ships from entering permanently and forced them to return, which he did not do it in the previous years, and some months of the past year passed without a single ship being allowed to enter.
- All ships seized by the coalition of aggression pirated after obtaining UN licenses to enter, and after granting the license, the coalition of aggression seizes them.
- The coalition of aggression prevents container ships loaded with goods and foodstuffs from reaching the port of Hodeida and diverts their course to the port of Aden, which is consider small and does not accommodate large shipments, as in the case with Hodeida port, and to Dubai ports as well.
- The coalition of aggression is harassing the shipping companies, which has prompted a number of transport companies to refrain from shipping towards Hodeida port, what raised transportation prices and affected the prices of fuel and commodities as well.
Checkpoints and hacking
The coalition of aggression is setting up detention points in the territorial waters for ships heading to the port of Hodeida, without little justification, except for “preventing Iranian ships from supplying Yemenis with weapons,” as he promotes, this is an excuse exposed by the fact that these ships obtained the licenses of the United Nations Protection and Inspection Commission (UNVIM); These licenses are only granted after a very careful vetting process, in which the ship’s engines and all its cargo, tools and supplies loaded inside, tanks and the integrity of their seals and their conformity with the data of the port of shipment and export are inspected, and matching all other documents, and make sure that they are non-smuggled quantities and not shipped from certain countries.
All these conditions and strict procedures come after shipping ships from Hamriyah Port, and it is the worst port in the state of the Emirates (one of the parties to the aggression against Yemen), which does not leave for the aggressive coalition leadership any excuse to search for a pretext through which to justify the piracy of its warships and military boats of Yemeni fuel ships, despite this, it did not happen that a ship reached the port of Hodeida without being detained or hijacked, off Jizan.
International complicity and cover
Yesterday, the director of the oil company, Ammar Al-Adrai, said in statements that 25 million citizens suffer from a fuel crisis, while the United Nations is watching an impending disaster and shirks from its responsibility.
The CEO of the Oil Company, Ammar Al-Adrai, said that the current situation portends a humanitarian catastrophe in the next few days, and 85% of the vital sectors will face problems due to the depletion of their oil stocks.
Al-Adra’i told Al-Masirah TV: We addressed United Nations several times, and the seized ship recently belongs to the World Food Organization, it is supposed to move over the next few hours. We cover the fuel needs of approximately 77% of Yemen population, and the detention of oil ships is an additional threat to them.
He pointed out that 25 million Yemeni citizens suffer from a fuel crisis, whether in the liberated or occupied areas, and we have the ability to secure the needs of all Yemeni people, if Hodeida port is fully opened.
The Executive Director of the Oil Company, Ammar Al-Adari, confirmed that UN deliberately shirks from its responsibilities towards our people; we spoke to them several times, but did not receive an answer. Noting that UN agencies are throwing ashes in eyes. There is no sign of releasing the seized ships, although it obtained the UN permits, it must be released completely.
In accordance with the provisions of customary and convention international law, the hijacking of fuel and goods ships from international waters by the coalition of aggression is classified as a piracy crime. It is a crime under Article 101 of 1982 United Nations Convention on the Sea Law, and the 1988 Convention on the suppression of unlawful Acts of the Safety of Maritime Navigation considers a full-fledged crime. It is a crime whose perpetrators punished under Article 15 of 1958 Geneva Convention on the High Seas.
But when the victim is the Yemeni people, and the perpetrators are the petrodollar states, the United Nations becomes a cover for the practice of a full-fledged crime. Three years ago, the United Nations set up an inspection committee in Djibouti to inspect ships bound for Yemen. However, it did not take any position regarding the aggression countries’ piracy for those ships after obtaining entry permits to Hodeida port.
Al-Thawrah obtained a copy of a number of these permits for eight oil ships that were then seized from the territorial waters and taken off to Jizan. Among those ships is the Princess Khadija, which carries 28,000 tons of diesel for public consumption. Khadija obtained the permit on December 1, 2020, and was unable to enter Hodeida port until March 3, 2021, after a detention period of 185 days, her fines had exceeded $3.7 million (2.2 billion riyals).
Such as “Pending Victory” ship, which obtained the permit on April 10, 2020, carrying 30,000 tons of gasoline for public consumption. Victory was supposed to arrive at Hodeida port within 24 hours, but it remained off Jizan after being kidnapped from the territorial waters for 339 days to leave the port, after that, it returned to her country, and the fines for detention amounted to $6.8 million (4 billion riyals).
Forcing a number of ships to return to their countries by the coalition of aggression comes as a means of pressure and blackmail for merchants whose ship oil ships towards Hodeida port. The aggression is trying by various means to completely disable the port of Hodeida, even from being used for purely humanitarian purposes as an emergency port for fuel ships or relief ships of the United Nations programmes. Whether by forcing the ships to leave after the failure of pressure on the merchants to change the destinations of their ships towards the occupied ports or by falsely claiming that the port is being used for military purposes; In preparation for targeting it and removing it from service.
Yemen relies on imported fuel, food and medicine, to meet 80 to 90 percent of the population’s needs. About 25 million civilians are facing difficulties in movement today due to the fuel crisis. Half of Yemen’s hospitals are almost closed and about 16 million people lack to clean water.
The coalition of aggression led by America continues to besiege Yemen, while the United Nations says that Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, the coalition of aggression continues to besiege Yemen in full view of the United Nations itself, under the supervision and support of the United States and the complicity of the international community.
Under the pretext on the need to strengthen monitoring and audit procedures, the coalition of aggression is preventing all flights and sea shipments carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen, closing Sana’a airport and imposing an air blockade on all civilian and humanitarian flights, but he seizes the ships after obtaining authorized licenses from United Nations, which establishes an inspection office in the port of Djibouti. All the ships that hijacked by the aggression coalition obtained authorized licenses.
The coalition of aggression claims that it allows ships to enter, but since the beginning of this year it has not allowed a single ship to reach the port of Hodeida, during the past year, he detained all the ships that headed to the port, allowing some of them to arrive after periods of detention and kidnapping that ranged from six months to a whole year, others were forced to leave for other places.
Human Rights Watch said earlier that significant restrictions on the delivery of essential goods to the civilian population remain, while a limited number of shipments reached Hodeidah ports irregularly, the heads of seven humanitarian agencies issued a joint statement calling on the coalition to lift the restrictions: “Without the urgent resumption of commercial imports, especially food, fuel and medicine, millions of children, women and men will face the threat of starvation, disease and mass death.”
Human Rights says the aggression coalition’s blockade violates the laws of war prohibition to impose restrictions on aid and fuel, it adds that he uses starvation as a method of war, which is a war crime.
“The Security Council should quickly impose sanctions on Saudi and other coalition leaders responsible for preventing the arrival of food, fuel and medicine, leading to starvation, disease and death,” the organization says.
Since the beginning of January, the coalition of aggression has detained eight oil ships, including a ship carrying gas. While the other seven ships carry (194,633) tons of gasoline, diesel. At a time when the voice of distress calls is rising from all institutions and service sectors in all fields: health, transport, industry, energy, etc., as the worsening crisis threatens the sectors with a complete halt.
The piracy of oil ships by the coalition of aggression is not an emergency event. Since the end of the “Stockholm 2019” negotiations between the Supreme Political Council on the one hand and the so-called government of the resigned Hadi on the other, one of its outputs includes the opening of Hodeida port, the coalition of aggression seized 169 ships, including 76 petrol ships, 74 diesel ships, 11 diesel ships, and eight gas ships.
In 2019, the coalition of aggression allowed only 80 fuel ships to enter the only port to feed the majority of Yemen’s provinces, after a period of detention that ranged between one week and two months. This detention resulted in fines of more than 31 million dollars (18.6 billion riyals), which led to reducing the number of ships heading to the port of Hodeida in the year 2020 to 63 ships, as a result of companies’ fear and fuel traders from shipping to Hodeida port, where the ships await an unknown fate, the merchants incur fines that sometimes exceed the value of the fuel, and the citizen bears the heavy burden of rising fuel prices.
Despite the decrease in the number of ships in the year 2020, however, the period of detention ranged between one week and 9 months, which led to a rise in delay fines to more than 91 million dollars (45.6 billion riyals). This result reflected in the year 2021, when only 26 ships headed towards the port of Hodeida, some of them were held for nearly a year, while the fines resulting from detention amounted to $54 million (32.4 billion riyals).
Suffering never cease
Since 2018, Yemen has been experiencing a stifling fuel crisis that almost does not stop, its victim the Yemeni citizen; as it reflected negatively on the reality of life through the high prices resulting from the high costs of transportation, and some service sectors stopped from time to time. As well as the difficulty of transportation and the difficulty of obtaining energy sources except at a price that, people with limited income are unable to obtain it
It also had a negative impact on the agricultural sector, which began to recover after September revolution 21, 2014 , where some pumps supplying large areas of agricultural land with water stopped working, this led to a halt in the flow of local products to the market and, consequently, a rise in the prices of local agricultural products..
The health sector also continued to suffer from a significant shortage of fuel, as a result, some hospitals stopped working for hours on a daily basis, especially in rural areas where diseases and epidemics are common, at a time when Yemen witnessed wide waves of epidemics and diseases such as cholera, dengue fever, malaria, diphtheria, H1N1 influenza and others.
It is estimated that the Yemeni provinces need about 1.4 million tons of gasoline for annual consumption and 1.5 million tons of diesel, however, what the coalition of aggression allowed to enter to Yemen during the year 2021 amounts to only 4% of gasoline, or 57 thousand tons. While the percentage of the quantity of diesel that was allowed to enter was only 6%, or about 87.5 thousand tons.
In the year 2020, only one-third of the annual need of diesel and gasoline allowed to enter. As the port of Hodeida reached during the year 2020, up to 660 thousand tons of gasoline and 688,000 tons of diesel, in the year 2019, Yemen reached 70% of the need amount, that is 852,000 tons of gasoline and 952,000 tons of diesel, after the detention of some ships reached a year, which entailed heavy fines.
While queues for those looking for fuel for a few kilometers in front of commercial stations in the free provinces for days, waiting for an opportunity to get fuel for trucks, taxis or heavy-duty engines, Likewise, owners of generators and energy dealers, the coalition of aggression hijacks a ninth ship belonging to the World Food Program, which provides 13 million people with urgent food aid.
Practices through which the coalition of aggression deliberately blackmails Yemenis into their strength and lives by tightening the screws on them, in order to subdue them after seven years of military aggression and economic, psychological and soft war that all failed, to reveal his ugly face in the shadow of international silence that, reflects the state of submission to Saudi and Emirati money and the American hand.