The UAE, in its aggressive criminal role in Yemen, is imposing a siege on the airports in northern Yemen. The siege imposes large restrictions that are causing the suffering of nearly 70% of the country’s population living in the poorest areas in the Arab Peninsula, according to UN estimates.
Since August 2016, the closure of Sana’a Airport has caused great suffering for Yemenis, especially patients. At the time of the collapse of the health sector, Yemenis have sought to travel outside Yemen where they have to travel long distances to Aden in the south of the country in a 15-hour journey.
The ministry of health in the Houthi government announced days ago the death of two Yemeni newborn Siamese twins in the capital Sanaa, after calls to transport them outside Yemen because of the lack of medical capacity to treat them.
“We hope that international organizations concerned with the health of children and newborns to help save this two-headed baby,” said Faisal al-Babli, head of the children’s department at the Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa. “Yemen’s health sector has collapsed because of the war, and we can’t separate the twins because of the shortage of equipment and medical staff.”
The reopening of Sanaa airport was part of the negotiations that took place in early December, but both parties failed to reach an agreement that would ease human suffering.
Alarming numbers indicated by the statistics of the Ministry of Health in Sanaa, since 30 thousand deaths recorded since 8 August 2016 to December 2018, because of the closure of the airport.
The ministry explained that more than 200 thousand patients and wounded by the embargo imposed by the Saudi-UAE alliance were unable for the fourth year in a row to travel abroad.
The country’s health sector has suffered a major deficit for the past four years, with many deadly diseases spreading, prompting doctors to transfer patients for treatment abroad.
In a brief statement to the spokesman of the Ministry of Health of the Houthis, Youssef al-Hadiri, he confirmed that 45% of the health centers ceased to work because of the destruction by the coalition, or because of the interruption of its budget after the economic war.
“The economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen has become catastrophic because of the aggression and siege,” al-Hadiri added.
The United Nations says dozens of children in Yemen die every day from the deteriorating health sector in the country following the nearly four-year-old war. 9 million people need urgent health care, many of them are malnourished.
The closure of Sanaa airport has caused hundreds of thousands of residents of the northern governorates to suffer while traveling through Aden and Sayoun airports where checkpoints are described as “humiliating and dangerous by the Houthis, the southern separatists, legitimacy.”
The Yemeni citizen, who is in the Houthi control areas and wants to travel abroad, needs to think a lot before he makes his decision. Hanaa Mohammed, a 37-year-old Yemenite, says she has received an invitation to participate in an organization conference held in Tunisia and that she has been forced to travel to Aden because of the closure of Sanaa airport.
The Saudi-UAE alliance forced the government to stop all Yemeni airports except for Aden and Sayoun airports, which sometimes stop working. They only receive Yemeni government planes which only has three planes, as well as Balqis airlines.
She said she had to book a trip to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, before going to Tunisia, due to the limited travel itinerary which is to only five countries (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, India).
“Because of the mood at the airport administration run by Emirati forces, my flight was delayed more than five days before I left for Cairo, and I was late on my visa to Tunisia to attend the conference,” she said.
The UAE forces are closing Al-Rayyan airport in the city of Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout, southeast of Yemen, and refuses to open it until today, at a time when human rights organizations say that the UAE uses the airport as one of its secret prisons to arrest and torture a number of Yemeni citizens.
The cost of expensive travel through local Yemenis has forced many citizens to travel by land for at least 24 hours to Oman, which has largely granted Yemen transit visas to use its airports to travel to the countries they want.
Yemenis demand an end to their suffering from the blockade of the Emirates by operating Sana’a airport as an internal airport and allowing local airlines to operate two or more flights to Aden and Sayoun airports or any other airports.
The Yemeni citizen pays the price of the differences between the leaders of both parties, in addition to the continuation of the war launched by the Saudi-UAE alliance, which has supported the legitimate government in Yemen since March 2015, amid despair among the Yemenis to end the siege and improve the security, economic and health conditions in the country.