Hodeidah port revenues.. Houthi dilemma to pay employees' salaries after the fall of the siege

English - الأحد 22 يناير 2023 الساعة 10:27 ص
Sana'a, NewsYemen, exclusive:

Despite the declaration of the end of the UN armistice in Yemen on the second of October 2022, the navigation movement in the port of Hodeidah and Sana'a International Airport is still escalating, according to statistics and numbers that show the reality of the siege launched by the Houthi militia and places it among its conditions for the delinquency of peace.

During the recent visit of the Omani delegation to Sana'a, and the UN envoy, Mr. Hans Grundberg, the Houthi leaders put lifting the siege among the conditions they raised to extend the humanitarian truce and resume negotiations.  It has the same repetitive tone and the cracked record that it raises despite its complete disavowal of lifting the siege on the Yemeni governorates, especially Taiz.

Since the outbreak of the absurd war led by Iran's arm in Yemen, the militias have been promoting the "siege of aggression" as the main cause of the suffering of the people of the areas under their control, while this pretext was a Houthi ploy to justify corruption and living crises that they are fabricating against citizens to raise the prices of oil derivatives and foodstuffs and prevent  Any claims to pay the monthly salaries that they plunder from the state treasury.

Hodeidah ports imports increased

Since the signing of the UN armistice in early April 2022 until now, the ports of Al-Hodeidah and Al-Salif in Al-Hodeidah, on the Red Sea, are witnessing an active commercial movement and a noticeable increase in imports of food commodities and fuel.

Despite the end of the UN armistice in October 2022 and the Houthis' disavowal of extending it, commercial traffic continued to increase in the ports under Houthi control, compared to the period prior to the signing of the UN armistice.

According to the United Nations Investigation and Inspection Mechanism in Yemen, the imports of fuel and foodstuffs to the ports of Hodeidah, which are under the control of the Houthi militia, officially confirm the contradiction of the Houthi statements and claims that its areas are under siege and restrictions.

The United Nations confirmed, in a statistic it spoke to, that food imports into the ports of Hodeidah, during December 2022, reached 268,025 tons, as 11 ships carrying foodstuffs from the Coalition Detention Area (CHA) entered the ports of Hodeidah, in addition to 10 ships that arrived at the unloading dock.  , while 10 other ships unloaded their cargo and left during the same month.

The UN mechanism indicated that fuel imports linking to the ports of Hodeidah, which is under the control of the Houthi militia, increased, during last December, by 359% compared to the monthly average for 2021, explaining that the total unloaded during the month of December amounted to 204,578 metric tons, compared to the monthly average for 2021.  2021 which was 44,589 metric tons.

The United Nations confirmed that permission was given to 8 fuel ships from the Coalition Detention Area (CHA) to enter these ports, in addition to 8 ships that arrived at the unloading dock, while 7 other ships unloaded their cargo and left during the reporting period.

 Active traffic at Sana'a airport

After the restart of Sana'a International Airport, within the terms of the UN armistice that was announced in early April for a period of two months, the operating process began with simple flights from the airport to the Jordanian capital, Amman, and with the first extension of the armistice for two additional months, more airspace was opened by intensifying flights from the airport to Jordan.  And also to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

As a purely humanitarian aspect, and despite the end of the armistice and the Houthis' intransigence in extending it in early October, flights continued to and from the airport, without stopping it, as many had expected after the failure of the UN armistice.

During the past days, the director of Sana'a Airport, loyal to the Houthis, Khaled Al-Shayef, came out on Al-Masirah TV with statements confirming the active movement that the airport is witnessing, despite the end of the truce and their disavowal of it.  He explained on the Houthi channel that the number of commercial flights to and from Sana'a airport over the past 8 years has reached more than 1,276 flights, carrying more than 162,000 passengers.

Despite the simple figures announced by the director of Sana'a Airport, they confirm openly and explicitly that the airport is operating normally in conducting and receiving flights, which refutes the fabrications and allegations that there is a blockade on the airport.

In fact, most of the trips included in the Houthi statistic were during the past few months, starting from the age of the UN armistice, which lasted for 6 months, until now.

The dilemma of paying salaries and the fall of the siege peg

With the publication of UN data and statistics on commercial traffic in the ports of Al-Hadiyya, and the statistics of flights arriving and departing through Sana'a Airport, the Houthi militia continues to fool citizens by continuing to promote the siege by taking marches to the streets by force of arms and threats to evade implementing their obligations to end crises and pay the salaries of employees that have been looted for years.  From the revenues collected under the armistice and after it, especially the revenues of Hodeidah ports.

Sudden demonstrations were organized by the militias in the governorate of Saada - the stronghold of the Houthis - and other Yemeni governorates under their control, under the cover of condemning the continued siege of the aggression.  However, the demonstrations reflected a great Houthi fear after the fall of the "siege of aggression", which is one of the most important justifications that were promoted and exploited to tighten their control and plunder state revenues, and continue to prevent the payment of employee salaries.

The growth of revenues collected from the ports of Hodeidah, which was officially published and confirmed by the United Nations and by its UN envoy in the last briefing to the Security Council, who confirmed that “81 fuel ships have entered the port of Hodeidah since the start of the UN armistice (April 2, 2022). Of these, 29 are tankers.  Entered during the period after the armistice."

What the envoy revealed about the entry of dozens of ships into the ports of Hodeidah over the past months has greatly doubled the revenues captured by the Houthi gang, which amounted to more than 150 billion riyals, according to official estimates, and all of that huge money goes into the pockets of prominent leaders, amid continued refusal to  Payment of employee salaries from these very large revenues from the oil sector only.

Economic observers believe that the Houthi militia has been, during the past years, justifying its inability to pay salaries due to the lack of revenue due to the blockade of aggression, and with the fall of this pillar and the assurances of UN economic reports of the growth of commercial activity in the ports of Hodeidah, all the flimsy arguments for not paying salaries have fallen, and also confirms the fact of operations  Looting and rampant corruption practiced by the Houthi leadership in the country.

 Government accusation and clarification

With the end of the UN armistice on October 2, 2022, attention turned towards the ports of Hodeidah and Sana'a airport, and many analysts and observers expected that the internationally recognized Yemeni government would re-establish dealing with the airport and ports with the same previous mechanism before signing the armistice.

What happened was very different, as air traffic to and from Sana'a airport continued normally, while food and fuel imports increased towards the ports of Hodeidah, in a clear humanitarian message to alleviate the suffering of citizens in the areas controlled by the Houthis and expose the reality of the "siege of aggression" that they are promoting to implement their agenda.  and their schemes.

Explicit accusations made by the Yemeni Foreign Minister, Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, against the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, of spreading lies, fabrications, and allegations of a blockade in the country, explaining that the data of the United Nations Investigation and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) confirm that the flow of fuel, food, medicine, and humanitarian aid is continuous and unhindered to the port.  Hodeidah, which is under the control of the Houthis.

For his part, Yemeni Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani confirmed that the Houthi militia took advantage of the UN armistice period and beyond to escalate the systematic looting of public revenues, tax and customs revenues for oil derivatives through the port of Hodeidah, and sold smuggled Iranian oil in the local markets, and doubled its illegal collections on the private sector.  And the burdens are on the shoulders of the citizens,” explaining that the looting of hundreds of billions of state revenues is matched by zero implementation of its obligations to lift the siege on cities and the payment of salaries from these revenues.

He pointed out, in a statement on social media, that "the total revenues looted by the Houthi militia from the tax sector, customs, zakat, endowments, fuel and domestic gas, amounted to two trillion and 310 billion riyals in the year 2020 , and doubled in 2022, while state revenues amounted to 2020."  2014  amounted to one trillion and 739 billion riyals, of which 927 billion riyals were allocated to pay the salaries of employees.

He stressed that "the international community, the United Nations, and the UN and US envoys are required to exert real pressure on the Houthi militia, to stop its systematic plundering of state revenues, and to allocate it to the regular payment of employee salaries according to the civil service database for the year 2014, instead of directing it in favor of the wealth of its leaders and what it calls the war effort."