Insurgents in Yemen have called on the UN to “immediately” release a ship carrying the Emirati flag captured in the Red Sea, claiming it had weapons on board. The Security Council’s call was rejected on Saturday.
On January 3, Houthi rebels, who control large parts of Yemeni territory, captured a boat called the “Rwabee” from the western Hodeidah area in the war since 2014.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have condemned the “pirate” act, and the two Gulf states have been intervening militarily in Yemen since 2015 to support power against the Houthis, backed by Riyadh’s regional rival Iran.
According to Hussein L-Azi, a rebel government official quoted by the Houthi al-Masira channel, “The boat belongs to a country that is participating in the occupation against our people (…). It entered our maritime borders in violation of international law.
“There are no dates and children’s games on board, but weapons aimed at terrorist groups,” he said.
The Security Council statement added that “there is no connection between the laws, the freedom of navigation and the protection of boats.”
On Friday, the Security Council unanimously called for the immediate and immediate release of the ship and its crew. The report, prepared by the UK under pressure from Emirates, a permanent member of the Council, emphasized the importance of “freedom of movement in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea”.
The Saudis say the boat is carrying equipment to build a hospital in the Yemeni archipelago of Sokotra, which is controlled by separatists from southern Yemen near the Emirates.
According to Emirates, the ship’s crew consists of 11 members, including seven Indians and nationals from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Burma and the Philippines.
According to the United Nations, 377,000 people have been killed in the war in Yemen, most of them indirectly affected by the war – hunger, disease and a shortage of drinking water.