JEDDAH, Jan. 04 (Asia Free Press): The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has strongly condemned the Houthi Militia for the act of hijacking a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-flagged civilian ship which carried medical equipment for a Saudi field hospital, according to a local media report.
The OIC considered the vessel’s commandeering a criminal act that would impede the freedom of maritime and commercial navigation guaranteed by international laws and instruments and suspend the shipment of humanitarian and relief aid to the Yemeni people.
The OIC General Secretariat called for the immediate release of the hijacked cargo ship.
Earlier, Yemen’s Houthi fighters said they had seized a UAE-flagged vessel in the Red Sea, claiming it carried “military supplies” after the Saudi-led coalition accused the armed group of “piracy”.
The vessel” entered Yemeni waters without authorisation” off the coast of Hodeidah and was carrying out “hostile acts,” Yahia Saree, the Houthi Militia spokesman, said in a tweet.
In a response, Turki al-Malki, Brigadier-General of the Royal Saudi Air Force, said, “The Houthi militia must immediately release the ship, otherwise the coalition forces shall take all necessary measures and procedures to deal with this violation, including the use of force.”
The Arab Interior Ministers Council also condemned the act, saying that, the hijacking constitutes a war crime and stressed the importance of standing firm against the actions of the Houthi militia “which presents, day after day, clear evidence of its aggressive behavior and its endeavors to destabilize regional security and stability.”
Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, also condemned the incident and called on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and take a firm stance toward the Houthis’ hostile practices.