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Yemen Calls For UN Probe on Fund Looting

Yemen Calls For UN Probe on Fund Looting

Thursday, 13 February, 2020 - 11:15
Yemenis stand in queues to receive aid from the World Food Program (WFP) in Sanaa (EPA)

Yemen’s government has called on the UN Security Council's panel of experts to investigate the huge amounts of funds that have been looted by Houthi militias throughout the coup years.

Information Minister Muammar al-Eryani accused Houthis of looting cash reserves, including hard currency and hundreds of billions in the public treasury, among which 400 billion riyals are from the new edition and were at the Central Bank in Sanaa.

In official statements on Wednesday, Eryani said the militias have “plundered the government pension fund and the Public Authority for Social Health Insurance and are still looting hundreds of billions of revenues annually from taxes, customs, and Zakat.”

The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen’s most recent report indicated the recent report has documented “the militias’ corruption and their theft of public funds,” the Minister said.

He explained that the report also revealed “using names and numbers examples of money laundering operations, illegal seizure of public revenues, and the confiscation of assets to finance the group’s war against Yemenis.”

Eryani pointed out that the UN report has “monitored the Houthi leaders’ ongoing organized looting of public funds to purchase real estate and transfer funds and investment abroad.”

Meanwhile, he stressed, the majority of citizens living in Houthi-run areas suffer a tragic situation after losing their salaries and jobs, in light of an unprecedented rate of hunger, poverty, and illness.

He called on the international community to support efforts made by the legitimate government to extend its authority over the entire Yemeni soil, affirming that the state is the true guarantor of public and private rights.

The state is capable of preserving public money, providing salaries to employees, improving public services, and securing the basic needs for citizens in all governorates, he noted.

The intention of several donor countries and the UN and relief organizations to stop and reduce the size of their operations in the areas controlled by the militias is expected, Eryani stated.

He said this is the result of the group’s theft, sale, and confiscation of humanitarian aid, as well as their obstruction of these organizations’ efforts.

In other news, the UN World Food Program (WFP) has warned that expected foreign currency shortages in Yemen are likely to lead to further depreciation of the Yemeni Rial (YER), disruptions to food imports and salary payments, and upward pressure on food and fuel prices.

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