(Photo Credit: AFP)
On 21 October, the Saudi-led coalition seized the oil tanker ‘Lady Sarah,’ preventing it from reaching Yemen’s port of Hodeidah despite its previous inspection in Djibouti and having permits from the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNIVM).
Yemeni officials revealed that three ships are currently detained by the coalition. Since the beginning of 2021, the Saudi-led coalition has impounded at least 13 ships near the Yemeni coast.
The official spokesperson for the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC), Issam Al-Mutawakel, said that Sanaa holds the UN partially responsible for the humanitarian and economic consequences of the coalition’s actions.
Just one week ago, delegations from Yemen and Saudi Arabia visited each other’s capitals to discuss a prisoner exchange deal, marking the first time a Saudi delegation arrived in Sanaa since the Ansarallah resistance group took control of the city in 2014 and ended the reign of the Saudi-backed president.
A delegation representing Ansarallah also visited Riyadh and toured the prisons that are holding Yemeni fighters.
“Our technical team was tasked with validating the names and condition of our prisoners ahead of a possible exchange deal,” said Abdul Qadir al-Murtada, head of the prisoners’ committee in Yemen’s National Salvation Government.
Murtada added that the Saudi delegation visited for a similar purpose and toured Sanaa’s prisons, meeting the Saudi army’s prisoners of war.
“We do not accept a situation where Yemeni people are caught between war and peace,” Yemeni Foreign Minister, Hisham Sharaf, said during a meeting with a UN representative on 11 October.
Oman has reportedly been making progress in mediating the dispute between Yemen and Saudi-led coalition to restart the UN-sponsored truce that expired earlier this month.
Citing well-informed sources in Sanaa, Arabic media reports say Omani officials have made inroads in settling several issues, particularly relating to the opening of Sanaa airport and the lifting of restrictions imposed on the port of Hodeidah.
However, issues remain over Sanaa’s demand that the country’s oil revenues be used to pay the salaries of state workers and the army. In this regard, the Saudi-appointed government in Aden has reportedly agreed to pay the pensions of military retirees exclusively, along with the salaries of all civil servants.