Aid ship docks in Yemen after being blocked by Saudis

Special to

A World Food Program (WFP) ship carrying humanitarian aid docked in Yemen on March 2 nearly a month after being diverted to Saudi Arabia.

The Mainport Cedar
The Mainport Cedar

Saudi said it blocked the shipment on Feb. 11 because the vessel, the Mainport Cedar, was carrying communications equipment.

The ship was carrying relief supplies to the port of Hodeida, which is controlled by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

“The World Food Program confirms that the Mainport Cedar has offloaded its cargo at Yemen’s Hodeida port today,” said UN spokesman Farhan Haq.

“The vessel was carrying inter-agency cargo that includes canned tuna and medical supplies. It had also been carrying information technology equipment that was left behind in Jizan to complete paperwork to allow it into Aden for the UN humanitarian hub,” Haq said.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asseri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said in February that the communications equipment found on the Mainport Cedar was “similar to that used by the Houthis” and had not been declared by the WFP.

Saudi Arabia has imposed a naval blockade in Yemen to stop weapons shipments to the Houthis.