UN urges Yemeni Hadi govt to allow new equipment for Sanaa airport
Finally realizing the threats of the Saudi-imposed blockade on Yemen, the UN urges the Hadi government to allow the entry of equipment to the city,
The United Nations has called on the Saudi-backed Yemeni Hadi government to allow the entry of communications equipment to the Sanaa airport under the control of the Sana'a government.
Yemen has been under a Saudi-led war since 2014, enduring a blockade imposed by the Saudi coalition since August 2017. The blockade impeded the quality of life in the country, pushing millions to the brink of famine. Altogether, the Saudi-led aggression and blockade took the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Yemeni civilians.
The Saudi blockade was also against humanitarian aid, which harshly affected Yemen's economy by barring it from receiving its profits from exporting oil in Al-Hudaidah port. This put the entire country in a chokehold.
Air raids from the Saudi-led aggression on Sanaa airport caused the Sanaa government to close the airport for several days in December 2021. The coalition launched the air raids under the pretext of the Sanaa government using the airport to launch missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia.
The Sanaa government reopened the airport on December 27.
"Closure of the airport to humanitarian flights severely undermines aid operations," the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, David Gressly, said in a statement on Friday. "I remain deeply concerned about any further disruptions."
Gressly also welcomed the reopening of the airport. However, he highlighted that communications equipment there had been found to be faulty.
"The Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (CAMA) in Sanaa deems the equipment obsolete," he said.
Gressly also highlighted that the UN humanitarian flight crews have reported "at least 10 instances in which they were unable to contact the air control tower... or had unclear communications."
The official urged the Hadi government to allow the import of new equipment to "rectify a potentially dangerous situation."
According to Gressly, the Saudi-led coalition has not authorized the transfer despite several UN requests, "citing the need for Government of Yemen approval."
"The equipment is needed to ensure the safe use of Sanaa airport for humanitarian flights and, by extension, the continuation of the aid operation in Yemen," Gressly asserted.
The United Nations had previously said the situation in Yemen was the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
UN estimates suggest that the blockade-accompanied war has claimed 377,000 lives by the end of 2021 through both direct and indirect impacts.