Yemen okays UN access to abandoned fuel tanker near Hudaydah

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News ID: 49464
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 21:45 - 26 November 2020
Thursday, 26 November 2020_Yemen has given the green light for a UN mission to inspect and repair a long-abandoned fuel tanker stranded near the port city of Hudaydah.

Yemen okays UN access to abandoned fuel tanker near Hudaydah"An urgent maintenance agreement and a comprehensive evaluation of the Safer tanker was signed with the United Nations in order to avoid an environmental catastrophe," Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council of Yemen, said in a tweet late Wednesday.

Yemeni media also quoted sources from Yemen's Ansarullah movement as saying that a message had been sent to the United Nations welcoming the experts who would conduct the "urgent evaluation and maintenance".

The officials are “currently waiting for a letter from the United Nations to inform the date of the arrival of the team of experts, after they have been granted the necessary visas to enter Yemen, and to start implementing the work assigned to them alongside the national technical team," it said.

"We hope that the United Nations will accelerate the implementation of the steps according to the agreement, and send the team of experts to carry out their duties quickly."

The UN said earlier this week that the operation could begin by late January or early February, depending on when it could obtain the necessary equipment.

The UN in recent months has been attempting to assess the "FSO Safer", which threatens to rupture in Yemen's north.

An earlier deal on access struck in July failed to materialize, but UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said this week that the new accord was more formal and represented "an important step forward in this critical work".

The 45-year-old vessel, abandoned near the western port of Hudaydah since 2015, has 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, and a rupture or explosion would have disastrous environmental and humanitarian consequences.

Greenpeace spokesman Ahmed El Droubi welcomed the development but said it was "long overdue".

"Every day that the Safer is left unattended brings us another day closer to a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe that will further deepen the current tragedy in Yemen, and cause untold damage to the land, sea and air around the region," the spokesman said. 

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