Minister of Transport Declares Closure of Sana'a International Airport In front of UN and International Organizations Flights

H.E. Minister of Transport- Brigade/ Zakaria Al-Shami declared the closure of Sana'a International Airport in front of UN and International Organizations flights

during the next few days due to the depletion of the amount of fuel allocated to the airport. The Minister- Al-Shami indicated in the Event of the passage of four years for the closure of Sana’a International Airport, organized by the Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (CAMA) on 6th of September 2020, that the aggression is seeking from its war on Yemen to execute any achievement for them on the ground after its military failure. He also explained that the continued detention of fuel ships and preventing their entry to Hodeidah seaport causes a humanitarian catastrophe for the Yemeni people, especially the patients in hospitals and newborn babies indicating that more than 540,000 patients need to travel abroad, awaiting an unknown fate due to the closure of Sana’a International Airport.

He pointed out the failure of the United Nations and its inability to lift the blockade on the airport, which is the main artery for two-thirds of the population of the Republic of Yemen and its first gateway to the world. He said: “The aggression closed the airport in front of the Yemeni people, so that the Coronavirus Pandemic came to close all airports of the world, including the airports of the aggression’s countries and their land and seaport in addition to the crises they face.” The Minister of Transport added that the closure of Sana'a International Airport came according to a decision made by the Saudi Ministry of Defense as a violation of international conventions and treaties, explaining that the aggression and the blockade confirmed the ineffectiveness and impartiality of the United Nations role.

On his part, the Chairman of CAMA- Dr. Mohammad Abdulkader stated that the forces of aggression will be broken and will be defeated by the determination and steadfastness of the Yemeni people, who have proven throughout history that Yemen is a cemetery for invaders. He also pointed out that Sana’a International Airport will be closed in front of the UN and International Organizations flights due to the depletion of the amount of fuel due to the detention of fuel ships and preventing their entry to Hodeidah seaport. He added that the aggression destroyed the airport’s infrastructure, telecommunications systems, and the radar system, with the aim of paralyzing the air navigation traffic of the airport. The Chairman of CAMA reaffirmed the technical and operational readiness of Sana'a International Airport in accordance with international requirements and the conditions of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

In the meantime, a Statement issued by the Event and read by the Head of the Organizing Committee of the Event- Director General of Air Transport- Dr. Mazen Ghanem stressed that the closure of Sana'a International Airport came according to an individual decision from Saudi Arabia on the ninth of August 2016 to suspend flights to and from Sana’a airport, considering this an illegal and inhumane action indicating that the imposition of the air blockade on Sana’a International Airport had isolated Yemen, restricted the freedom of millions of Yemenis and disrupted the movement of air navigation in front of vital and commercial supplies for citizens. The Statement also indicated that the continued imposition of the air blockade on flights to and from Sana’a International Airport in front of the eyes and ears of the United Nations and International Organizations is a flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Freedoms and the two protocols attached to them, and a violation of the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Chicago Convention signed in 1944.

The Statement mentioned that the imposition of the air blockade on Sana’a International Airport exacerbated the suffering and deprivation of thousands of Yemenis from traveling abroad to have medical treatment; indicating that the Ministry of Health statistics indicate the death of more than 80 thousand sick cases that could not be traveled to have medical treatment abroad, and more than 450 thousand sick cases need to travel where about 25-30 cases die every day. According to the Statement, there are more than 65 thousand patients with cancerous tumors threatened with certain death, and more than eight thousand patients with renal failure who need urgent renal transplantation; indicating that more than one million patients are threatened with death due to the lack of drugs for incurable and chronic diseases, solutions and medical supplies that are transported by air. The Statement also stressed that the continuation of the ban on Sana'a International Airport has prevented more than four million expatriates from returning to the homeland, in addition to thousands of students who lost their scholarships due to their inability to travel to complete their studies and disrupt the interests of many businessmen.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport condemned the continued failure of the United Nations to fulfill its obligations to operate an air bridge for humanitarian flights for patients through Sana'a International Airport, which confirms the lack of seriousness of the international community and the United Nations in taking action to stop the human tragedy resulting from the continuing aggression and blockade. The Ministry of Transport also renewed the demand of the United Nations and the Security Council, to work in accordance with the rules and provisions of international humanitarian Law and human rights that were approved to protect human beings, preserve their basic rights and respect the right of the Yemeni people to be fully protected from any violation and to enhance the right of Yemenis to travel, which is guaranteed by all international laws and conventions. The statement also called for taking a stance towards ending the continuation of the air blockade imposed on the Yemeni airports and the issuance of an international resolution by the Security Council to lift the air blockade of Sana’a International Airport in front of civilian flights.

During the event that was attended by the Deputy Ministry of Transport for Air Transport Sector- Mr. Abdullah Al-Ansi, CAMA’s Deputy Chairman- Mr. Raed Jabal, the Assistant Chairman Deputies of CAMA, Director General of Sana’a International Airport- Mr. Khaled Al-Shayef and the Director General of Civil Aviation & Met. Institute- Dr. Naji Al-Sohmi, a short film about the suffering of patients due to the closure of Sana’a International Airport was presented titled "of what guilt she was killed".

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