The Yemeni government on Tuesday accused Houthi rebels of stealing hundreds of aid shipments during the country’s three-year conflict.
“More than 88 ships were prevented by Houthi rebels from docking at the port of Al-Hudaydah from May 2015 to December 2018,” the government’s Supreme Relief Committee said in a statement.
It added that Houthi rebels had also shelled several commercial vessels, including some bearing humanitarian aid.
“Houthi rebels also seized 697 aid shipments during the same period,” the committee asserted.
There has as yet been no comment from the rebel group regarding the government’s claims.
On Monday, the World Food Program (WFP) also accused the Houthis of stealing aid shipments bound for Yemen’s civilian population.
“This conduct amounts to the stealing of food from the mouths of hungry people,” WFP Executive Director David Beasley said in a statement.
“At a time when children are dying in Yemen because they haven’t enough food to eat, this is an outrage,” he added. “This criminal behavior must stop.”
The Houthis, for their part, have denied the WFP’s allegations, saying they had been “surprised” by the claims.
Yemen plunged into civil war in 2014 when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing the government to set up an interim capital in the coastal city of Aden.
A year later, Saudi Arabia and several of its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi military gains.
The Saudi-led campaign has devastated Yemen’s basic infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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