Yemen government accuses Houthis of causing fuel crisis
Houthis prevent hundreds of fuel-laden tankers from reaching destinations, says information minister
The Yemeni government accused Iran-backed Houthi rebels on Saturday of deliberately starting a fuel crisis to increase prices on the black market.
"Houthi militants prevent hundreds of fuel-laden tankers arriving by land from areas under the control of government forces from reaching their destinations,” Information Minister Muammar Al Eryani said in a statement.
Claiming the Houthis deliberately started the fuel crisis to increase prices on the black market they created in the capital, Sanaa, and other regions, he said they also systematically implemented hunger and poverty policies against the Yemeni people.
The Houthis sacrificed civilians for financial and political gains, he said.
The Houthis has not yet responded to the claims.
Yemeni Petroleum Company spokesman Issam Al-Mutawakil said that the country is witnessing the worst fuel crisis since 2015.
The Houthis accuse the Arab coalition and the internationally-recognized government of seizing oil ships and not allowing them to enter the Hudaydah port.
The government requires ships revenues entering the port to be deposited in a bank account not under the control of the Houthis and to use revenues to pay salaries of state employees throughout Yemen. It is a provision that the Houthis have dismissed.
The Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen have been in control of Sana'a and other regions since September 2014.
Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia have been supporting the government against the Houthis since March 2015.
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sanaa.
A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation.
Yemen is home to one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% of Yemenis, or about 30 million people, needing humanitarian assistance and protection. More than 13 million are in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar
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