Houthis plant landmines near UN food stores in Yemen's Hodeidah: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-03 20:56:53|Editor: xuxin
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ADEN, Yemen, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's local administration accused on Sunday fighters of the Houthi group of planning landmines and explosive devices around United Nations food storages in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

Local Administration Minister Abdul-Raqeeb Fatih, who chairs Yemen's High Relief Committee, said in a statement that "Houthis laid different types of landmines around food storages in Hodeidah in a crime that no other group has ever committed."

Fatih called on the UN and human rights organizations to condemn and take action against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

He said that "the Houthis through such acts aim to starve Yemenis and deprive them of receiving relief assistance."

The Yemeni minister concluded his statement by saying that the silence of the international community is "unacceptable."

Last week, representatives of the UN food agency briefly visited the Red Sea mills of Yemen's Hodeidah, but were unable to determine if the wheat in storage was all fit for feeding starving citizens, a UN spokesman said.

The World Food Program (WFP) has been appealing for access to the mills for the past few months. Access was cut off by fighting in the area in Hodeidah, which is home to the crucial mills and a key port handling some 70 percent of imports into Yemen.

The UN mills hold enough wheat to feed 3.7 million people for at least a month, the spokesman said, adding that the WFP is unable to confirm how much of it is still fit for people's consumption.

The long-running Yemeni conflict has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Currently, some 24 million Yemenis, or 80 percent of the entire population, need humanitarian aid and protection, with some 20 million requiring help to secure food, the UN has said.