Arab coalition demands release of UAE-flagged cargo ship hijacked by Houthis

“The militia must promptly release the ship, or the Coalition Forces will undertake all necessary measures and procedures to handle this violation, including the use of force if necessary.”

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DUBAI: The Arab coalition on Monday demanded the immediate release of a UAE-flagged cargo ship that the Houthi militia hijacked off the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Sunday, or face the prospect of a “use force if necessary.”

“The terrorist Houthi militia will bear full responsibility as a result of its criminal act of piracy against the ship, which violates the customary International Humanitarian Law, the San Remo Manual on Armed Conflicts at Sea and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki said, in a report from state news agency SPA.

“The militia must promptly release the ship, or the Coalition Forces will undertake all necessary measures and procedures to handle this violation, including the use of force if necessary.”

The UAE-flagged ship, RWABEE, was on a mission from Socotra Island to Jazan port carrying equipment from a field hospital that was established by Saudi Arabia on the island.

It was ferrying back ambulance vehicles, medical equipment, telecommunication devices, tents, kitchen-related items, laundry equipment and technical and security accessories.

Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militia’s hijacking operation represents the real threat the extremist group poses on the freedom of maritime navigation and global trade in Bab Al-Mandab Strait and southern Red Sea.

The Houthis bear full responsibility for the criminal act and has urged the militia to release the ship immediately, otherwise coalition forces will take action, which includes using force if needed, he added.

The Houthis’ military spokesman, Yahya Saree, confirmed they have seized the vessel.

 

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