Houthis rally in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)

November 27, 2018

The Iran-backed Houthi militias have ceased all activity by non-Houthi affiliated civil society groups in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

The move is aimed at monopolizing such humanitarian work and exploiting them for their sectarian purposes.

Houthi leader Ahmed Hamed ordered the Houthi ministry of social affairs in Sanaa to stop issuing permits to any voluntary humanitarian work except to those linked to the militias.

The Houthis had sought throughout the past three years to establish dozens of local organizations under the guise of humanitarian work.

These groups have been tasked with seizing international aid and abusing them to lure new recruits to serve their sectarian agenda.

Activists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis have always cracked down on humanitarian work that is not affiliated to them even if they have proper permits.

Moreover, the militias have kidnapped a number of activists in Sanaa and Hajjah, laying various false charges against them, while all they have been seeking was to alleviate the suffering of the people.

Head of the humanitarian center for studies and media Mohammed al-Maqrami accused the Houthis of extorting humanitarian organizations in Sanaa.

The militias have also shut a number of local and international agencies that have not complied to their policies, he added.

This has consequently compounded the suffering of the people.

The recent Houthi move is tantamount to “mass punishment” against the civilians, he said.

Activists appealed through Asharq Al-Awsat to Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Lise Grande to intervene and pressure the militias to lift all restrictions imposed on relief and humanitarian work.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.