UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations said on Wednesday that new requests by Yemen’s Houthi rebels will further delay United Nations (UN) experts from examining an oil tanker moored off the war-torn country’s coast loaded with more than one million barrels of crude oil that is at risk of leaking.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the additional requests focus on “logistics and security arrangements”, and “it’s now difficult to say exactly when the mission could be deployed”.
The UN warned last year that the tanker, the FSO Safer, hasn’t been maintained for more than five years. Experts fear it could explode or leak, causing huge environmental damage to marine life and affect shipping in the Red Sea.
He said the Houthis also had not responded to multiple requests for a letter with security assurances that the UN needs to facilitate the leasing of “technically equipped service vessels” required for the mission.