United Nations dismisses Saudi conditions to reopen Yemen port

United Nations dismisses Saudi conditions to reopen Yemen port

United Nations dismisses Saudi conditions to reopen Yemen port

The Saudi-led coalition has said it will keep Hodeidah port closed until a United Nations verification programme is reviewed to ensure no weapons reach the Houthis.

Jamie McGoldrick of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday the world body is aware of an announcement that the coalition was allowing deliveries to two ports in southern Yemen, AP reported.

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said.

Yemenia Airlines Chief Saleh Ba Hedile said in a statement at Cairo Airport that the flights resumed following the Saudi-led coalition lifted restriction on air travel to Yemen.

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The UN aid agencies said the coalition's move to ease the siege was not enough, and warned of mass starvation and health catastrophes in Yemen's north.

The fiery comments came even as Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it will begin reopening airports and seaports in Yemen - those in areas not controlled by the rebels - after days of closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a November 4 ballistic missile attack on Riyadh near its worldwide airport by the Shiite rebels known as Houthis.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers. Almost 900,000 people have the illness, half of them children.

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The agency reported that the closure of Yemen's border has halted the delivery of emergency assistance for almost 280,000 internally displaced people, and stranded some of its staff outside the country while others lack fuel for transport, he said.

Those ports are in Yemeni cities of Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

The IS-claimed attack took place at a building in the Sheikh Othman district in the central part of the city.

The coalition seeks to reinstate internationally-recognized Yemeni government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced by Houthi rebels into exile in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

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