The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Saudi-led coalition blocks UN aid flight for carrying journalists to Yemeni capital Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi-led coalition blocks UN aid flight for carrying journalists to Yemeni capital

The fighting has pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine [AFP]

Date of publication: 18 July, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen prevented a United Nations flight carrying aid agency staff from travelling to the capital Sanaa on Tuesday because three international journalists were also aboard.
A UN flight carrying aid to Yemen's capital was blocked by the Saudi-led coalition, United Nations official said on Tuesday. 

The plane was taking aid workers and BBC reporters from Djibouti to Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis.

But the flight was barred from taking off from Djibouti to Sanaa because three BBC journalists were onboard.

"The coalition claimed that the security of the journalists could not be guaranteed in rebel-controlled areas and advised the three journalists to travel on commercial flights," said Ahmed Ben Lassoued, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen.

"It's unfortunate and partially explains why Yemen, which is one of the world's largest humanitarian crises, is not getting enough attention in international media," he added.

"The lack of coverage is also hindering humanitarians' effort to draw the attention of the international community and donors to the humanitarian catastrophe the country is experiencing," Ben Lassoued said.

The Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in the Yemen conflict two years ago in support of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels, shut down Sanaa’s international airport a year ago.

Meanwhile, an airstrike by the coalition struck a vehicle packed with fleeing refugees on Tuesday, killing at least 11 people, according to Yemeni security officials.

The death toll is expected to rise as several women and children remain in critical condition, officials said.

International rights groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of bombing civilian gatherings, markets, hospitals, and residential areas across Yemen since the beginning of its campaign against Houthi rebels in 2015.

The war has been mired in stalemate for most of the last two years, with more than 10,000 civilians killed and three million displaced. 

The fighting has pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine, and a cholera outbreak in recent months has killed more than 1,700 people.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More