U.N. accuses Yemen’s Houthis of blocking aid

Houthi loyalists shout slogans during a demonstration against Saudi-led strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa.

Houthi loyalists shout slogans during a demonstration against Saudi-led strikes in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.


The U.N. aid chief on Tuesday accused Yemen’s Houthi militias of blocking and diverting deliveries of aid to the country’s third city of Taez where some 200,000 people are living under siege.

Government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition have been battling since September to push the Shiite militias out of Taez as part of their campaign to recapture the capital Sanaa farther north.

“Houthi and popular committees are blocking supply routes and continue to obstruct the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid and supplies into Taez city,” said Stephen O’Brien, the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

Trucks carrying aid are blocked at checkpoints and “only very limited assistance has been allowed in,” he added in a statement.

O’Brien said it was “unacceptable” that some of the aid destined for the city’s needy was being diverted away from those people.

Some 200,000 people are in need of drinking water, food, medical treatment and other life-saving assistance in Taez, a “deeply concerned” O’Brien said.

U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has been hold talks for weeks with all sides to try to launch peace talks, but no date has been set for the negotiations.


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