Yemen urges UN for action on the FSO Safer tanker issue

September 4, 2020

FSO Safer oil tanker is approaching a time ticking disaster off the shore of Yemen’s Red Sea, endangering the livelihood of Yemeni people. Yemeni Minister of Information Mua’mar Al-Iryani emphasized that the Houthi’s will be blamed if the tanker sinks, The National reported.

The FSO Safer, stranded on the coast of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, contains 1.14 million barrels of crude oil. The big hauler has had practically no upkeep since the beginning of Yemen’s five-year-long civil war.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chief, Inger Andersen expressed that the state of the decaying vessel, FSO Safer that is controlled since 2015 by the Houthi rebels – is increasingly reaching towards an oil spill that will impact the environment and livelihood of people in Yemen.

The supertanker was built in Japan in 1974 and was recently discovered with a leak in late May, filling its engine with seawater and risking to destabilizing the vessel, the Council stated.

The UN has been worried since the Beirut blast disaster and has called for accelerating the issuance of required access permits to the UN engineers’ team to Safer tanker.

On 11 Aug, The United Nations asked access to the deserted oil tanker (Safer), but the Iran-backed Houthis wouldn’t allow the UN-appointed Singapore company to access it, Al-Awsat reported.

However, The Yemeni minister requested the international community, especially the UN Security Council, to make an urgent move to evade an approaching catastrophe and to prevent the Houthis from utilizing the issue.

As per the National, The Yemeni government says it will consider Houthi rebels liable if the abandoned oil tanker holding over a million liters of crude oil sinks inside the sea or the oil spill damages the ecosystem.

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