(Photo credit: Norwegian Refugee Council)
On 25 March, the Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) announced that the Saudi-led coalition had ordered its mercenaries in Al-Jawf province to block fuel trucks from transporting fuel by road to the capital Sanaa.
According to the YPC, the measure is part of the Saudi-led coalition plan to worsen the fuel shortage that is affecting most parts of the country.
The fuel shortage was triggered by the illegal economic blockade that the coalition imposed on Yemen a few months after invading the country in March 2015.
As part of the blockade, coalition forces have been seizing fuel tankers that attempt to deliver fuel to the port of Hodeidah, the country’s main entry point for commercial goods and humanitarian aid.
The government of Yemen has accused the United Nations of not doing enough to stop what it has described as “international maritime piracy” by the Saudi-led coalition.
Yemen says UN failure to hold the coalition responsible has emboldened the Saudi-led coalition to the extent that they now even seize shipping vessels with UN clearance to enter the country.
The seizure of fuel tankers has led to a severe fuel shortage that has grounded most economic activities to a halt. The lack of fuel has also affected the operations of hospitals and water treatment facilities that depend on electricity generated by diesel-powered plants.
Sanaa has accused the Saudi-led coalition of using the fuel shortages as collective punishment against the people of Yemen. Some stakeholders have said that the coalition is hoping that the shortages will force the citizens to rise against the government.
The blockade by Saudi-led coalition has exacerbated the war-driven humanitarian crisis that Yemen is experiencing.
The UN recently warned that more than half of Yemen’s population is currently food insecure and that the situation is likely to worsen if the Saudi-led aggression against the country continues.