Reports & News

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Tue - 24 Dec 2019 - 11:36 PM ،،،

aawsat


 The Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have imposed new restrictions on international aid and humanitarian groups operating in regions under their control.

The militias acknowledged that they had demanded that the agencies receive advance permission to carry out any activities or training programs in Sanaa.

They demanded that list of documents and requests be submitted to them before any activities are carried out. The agencies must wait for approval from the Houthis’ so-called general secretariat of the higher council for the administration and coordination of humanitarian affairs and international cooperation.

An aid worker in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the restrictions are just another example of the Houthis’ ongoing violations against relief and humanitarian agencies.

The militias had previously made similar extortionist and unjust demands against international agencies, said the source on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from the Houthis.

The latest restrictions reveal the extent of the militias’ meddling in the agencies’ affairs, he added.

Moreover, the source accused the Houthis of spying on the agencies and of punishing any organization that does not yield to their pressure.

The militias force a UN agency to cease its operations whenever they believe that it is not operating in line with its goals and agendas, forcing it to stop performing its humanitarian duty towards millions of Yemenis who are already suffering from severe humanitarian conditions, he continued.

The latest Houthi violations appeared to be in response to recent UN accusations against the militias that they were impeding its agencies’ operations and preventing aid from reaching those in need.

Furthermore, local sources in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis had intensified since early December their campaigns of incitement against international aid groups. They had promoted such campaigns through their media platforms, mosques and government agencies.

One worshipper at a mosque revealed how a Houthi preacher had called on the militia-controlled government to expel foreign workers at UNICEF, the World Health Organization and World Food Program, describing them as “spies.”