Fuel shortage continues in Houthis-held areas

Fuel shortage continues in Houthis-held areas

Alsahwa Net – Vehicles line up before empty gas stations across the Houthis-controlled areas following the Houthis’ rejection of the government’s import regulations.

The defiance by the Houthis to the government drove the latter to intercept fuel shipments outbound for the Houthis-held areas.

The government’s introduced in September 2018 a new fuel import regulation that require fuel importers to pay customs and tax fees for the government. Yet, the Houthis instructed the fuel importers to disobey such rule and set up their own customs fees collection mechanism.

Majority of the incoming fuel imports to the densely populous north Yemen which is under the Houthis’ control, come through the Hodeida port.

However, the legitimate government which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition seizes fuel vessels in the Red Sea if importers failed to pay the customs fees.

The tragedy does not stop here. The Houthis rebels have nearly suspended the state-run petroleum company that used to manage the fuel supply and authorized their affiliated officials and businessmen to manage the fuel supply throughout their held areas.  

At present, only Houthis-owned gas stations are allowed to operate, and vehicle users can only buy certain fixed amount of gas per six-day cycle.

The Houthis rebels who took control of the capital Sana’a in late September 2014, use this situation to intensify their anti-government local mobilization and diplomatic efforts to blame the government for the economic and humanitarian crisis which is being worsened by the fuel shortage.

The Houthis have also instructed gas stations to work only for six hours per day which they claim that such measures will control the gas shortage. 

The government said that it has successfully managed the customs fees collection on the fuel imports at all Yemen’s ports except gas shipments inbound Hodeida ports due to the Houthis’ defiance to government’s regulation.

The government says that fuel import regulations were taken to prevent the Houthis’ use of the business revenues for their fighting against the government forces as well as to combat smuggling of Iran’s fuel into Yemen.

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