Yemeni Houthi rebels have turned down a UN demand to free an Emirati-flagged vessel and its 11-member crew that they captured earlier this month, claiming the ship was carrying “military assets.”
The 15-member Security Council requested “the immediate release of the vessel and its crew” and emphasized “the necessity of ensuring the crew’s safety and well-being” in a statement drafted by the United Kingdom and endorsed unanimously.
It also urged “all parties to de-escalate the situation in Yemen,” including working with the UN special envoy to go back to the bargaining table.
The ship was taken by the Houthis off the coast of Hodeidah on January 3.
The US on Tuesday condemned the seizure of the cargo vessel.
In a statement the day before, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said that the ship was carrying medical equipment for a Saudi field hospital on Yemen’s Socotra Island.