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Saudi coalition prevents UN aid flight reaching Yemen

July 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Yemeni people carry humanitarian aid distributed by the UN in Taiz, Yemen on 4 March 2017 [Abdulnasser Alseddik/Anadolu Agency]

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen prevented a UN aid flight travelling to Sana’a because it has journalists among its passengers, Reuters reported.

The UN flight was prevented from taking off from Djibouti to Yemen because three journalists from the BBC were on board.

“The coalition claimed that the security of the journalists could not be guaranteed in rebel-controlled areas and advised the three journalists to travel on commercial flights,” said Ahmed Ben Lassoued, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen.

A source in the coalition claimed that only the Yemeni government is entitled to issue visas for foreigners and that the entry into the country must be via commercial flights at Aden airport. The coalition added that the UN must ensure protection of the journalists and make sure they do not cover anything else apart form the delivery of aid.

Read: Cholera is being fuelled by warring parties in Yemen says UN

Media coverage on Yemen’s civil war and humanitarian situation has been scarce due to the lack of access provided to international journalists.