Houthi’s hostage of SAFER oil tanker a potential threat to the world
Over the past years, the Houthi militias have controlled and refused the arrival of the United Nations delegations concerned with the evaluation and maintenance of the oil tanker SAFER.
The United Nations has already expressed regret that the Houthi militias have continued to prevent international experts to board and assess the Safer oil tanker loaded with over 1.1 million barrels of crude oil off the Yemeni coast.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric informed news media about the delays after additional requests made by the Houthis focus on “logistics and security arrangements,” and “it’s now difficult to say exactly when the mission could be deployed.”
“Unfortunately, we can’t finalize mission preparations until all of the issues are resolved. We understand that many Member States, including donors to the project, are extremely concerned by these new delays. We, of course, share those concerns.”
Misleading claims by Houthis
The claims of a breakthrough with Houthis regarding the Safer oil tanker in the Red Sea are misleading, according to a Yemeni minister. “The Houthi militia are tampering with the issue and giving empty promises [to the UN] … [there was] no significant progress in the efforts to prevent an imminent environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe that threatens Yemen and the region,” Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryni said in a report from state news agency Saba.
SAFER oil tanker is currently located opposite Ras Issa Port, Hodeidah City. This tanker was working with the Yemeni Oil Company, but since the war began, it has stopped working and has not received any maintenance since that time.
To make matters worst, Houthi militia kidnapped three engineers employed by the Safer Company for Oil Exploration and Production, as reported by the state news agency Saba New.
The company has released a statement which accused the militants of abducting the three employees. The first two were kidnapped off a bus on their way to Sanaa, as they were heading to the gas fields in Marib, the report added. The third engineer was taken from his house in Sanaa.
Safer Oil Co. called the local and international communities and organizations to condemn such acts and intervene – demanding the release of the engineers. Meanwhile, the militia killed six civilians and injured seven others during attacks on houses in Taiz on Wednesday, Saba News added.Four of the dead are children and the other two are women, the report added.
Massive danger to environment
Scientists have warned last December that the tanker was on the verge of creating one of the world’s biggest oil spills. The Safer tanker holds one million barrels of oil – four times the amount that leaked from the Exxon Valdez in the catastrophic 1989 spill in Alaska.
The Houthi militia has repeatedly blocked experts from accessing the ship, which was abandoned in 2015. The people of Yemen will suffer from environmental, health and economic problems that may last for another 30 years The tanker hasn’t been maintained for over five years and is at risk of leaking, causing environmental damage in the Red Sea. Damage to the marine environment and pollution could extend to the Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz on the other side
“The UN remains eager to deploy the mission at the earliest possible opportunity. This mission is an important first step to avert an environmental and humanitarian disaster,” Dujarric told reporters. “A leak would have devastating ecological, humanitarian and economic consequences, not only for the people of Yemen, but for the entire region around the Red Sea.”