Houthi 'economic war' threatens peace prospects: Yemeni PM

Aden (Yemen), Jun 12 (IANS): Yemen's Prime Minister Maeen Abdul-Malik has warned that the "economic war" waged by the Houthi rebels against his government jeopardises prospects for peace in the war-ravaged Arab country.

Speaking during a videoconference meeting with diplomats and representatives from various countries, Abdul-Malik on Sunday called on the international community and the UN to urgently intervene and support his government, according to the official state-run Saba news agency.

The Houthi group's "arbitrary measures against the private sector and banks and the restrictions it imposed on the movement of individuals, goods, and humanitarian aid" threaten peace efforts and harm Yemen's citizens, the Prime Minister said.

The premier vowed to take action against the Houthi economic war and promised to explore "all available options" to tackle this dire situation, Xinhua news agency reported.

Abdul-Malik stressed the importance of international support for Yemen's government's efforts in countering the Houthi's economic warfare during this "critical stage".

Last month, the Yemeni government said that it is facing financing difficulties following a drop in public revenues caused by Houthi attacks on oil export ports.

During a previous cabinet meeting held in the southern port city of Aden, the premier said that the Houthi-launched attacks have caused losses estimated at $1 billion.

Over the past few months, the Houthi militia in Yemen conducted drone strikes on government-controlled oil ports in Hadramout and Shabwa provinces.

These repeated assaults resulted in the suspension of oil exports, which serve as a vital source of income for the impoverished Arab nation's government.

The Houthis have consistently said that their objective in targeting these ports is to thwart the exploitation of Yemen's "sovereign wealth".

Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since 2014, with the Houthi rebels fighting against the internationally-recognised government and its allies, which include a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.


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