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02:41, 24 June 2018 Sunday
Update: 17:38, 12 November 2017 Sunday

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Saudi easing of Yemen blockade not enough: EU, UN
Saudi easing of Yemen blockade not enough: EU, UN

The coalition shut down Yemen's borders on Monday in response to a missile attack by Huthi rebels that was intercepted near Riyadh airport.

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Saudi-led coalition's easing of its blockade on famine-threatened Yemen is "a step in the right direction" but does not go far enough, the European Union and United Nations said.

On Wednesday, it reopened the southern port of Aden, controlled by coalition-backed government forces, and the Wadea crossing on the Saudi-Yemeni border was reopened the next day.

The EU's commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, said Saturday that more steps were needed.

"Initial measures to resume operations in Aden port and to open Wadea border crossing are a step in the right direction," he said.

"The EU urges the coalition to ensure the immediate resumption of the UN's flights and activities in the ports of Hodeida and Saleef and the opening of land borders for humanitarian relief and basic commercial commodities," he said.

"The delivery of life-saving supplies is critical for the Yemeni population and must be facilitated by all parties to the conflict," Stylianides added.

On Friday, the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian aid, OCHA, said the coalition was still blocking desperately-needed UN aid deliveries to Yemen, despite the reopening of Aden and Wadea.

"Humanitarian movements into Yemen remain blocked," said OCHA spokesman Russell Geekie.

"The reopening of the port in Aden is not enough. We need to see the blockade of all the ports lifted, especially Hodeida, for both humanitarians and for commercial imports."

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