Arab League urges UNSC for immediate intervention to maintain oil tanker off Yemen

Xinhua , Monday 10 Aug 2020

Arab League
File Photo: Arab League in session in its headquarters Cairo, Egypt. (Photo: Reuters)

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit on Monday called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to immediately interfere to enable a UN team to assess a neglected tanker off Yemen.

In a statement, the pan-Arab body chairman warned of the horrible destruction similar to Lebanon's Beirut blasts if the UN-led technical assessment and repair mission couldn't start the maintenance work onboard the Safer oil tanker off the coast of Ras Issa.

The maintenance work aims to avoid a possible catastrophic spill of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil.

At the end of May, water reportedly entered the engine room of the permanently anchored tanker, which could have led to disaster, but a temporary fix was applied at that time.

The tanker had served as floating oil storage and offloading vessel that is moored in the Red Sea before most of the crew deserted it after the Houthi rebels took over the area about five years ago.

"The indifference of the Houthis regarding the possible catastrophe reflects the rebels' carelessness about the suffering of the Yemeni people and the group's readiness to escalate the sufferings by keeping their influence and power," it added.

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