Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital Sanaa on Monday to protest the closure of Yemen’s ports by a Saudi-led military coalition.
Protesters gathered outside the United Nations office in central Sanaa amid chants decrying the Saudi-led blockade and airstrikes in the war-torn country.
Earlier this month, the Saudi-led coalition closed access to Yemeni ports following a ballistic missile attack toward Riyadh by Houthi rebels. The coalition argues that the closure was needed to stop arms reaching to the Houthi rebels.
On Sunday, Houthi rebels threatened to attack warships and oil tankers from the Saudi-led coalition in retaliation against the closure of Yemeni ports.
Last week, the WHO warned that more Yemeni civilians will die over the closure of the Yemeni ports.
“WHO and the other humanitarian agencies need immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to Yemen,” WHO Executive Director for Emergencies, Peter Salama, said in a statement.
“The country is still facing the world’s largest cholera outbreak and 7 million people are on the brink of famine, including some two million severely malnourished children. If we can’t bring food and medical supplies into Yemen we will not be able to save people’s lives.”
Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.
The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and strengthening Yemen’s embattled government.