Abu Dhabi: Members of the UN Security Council expressed their deep concern about the increased danger posed by FSO Safer - a floating oil storage and offloading vessel moored in the Red Sea north of the Yemeni city of Al Hudaydah. There are concerns that the deteriorating tanker could develop a crack or suffer an explosion and cause an environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe for Yemen and its neighbouring countries.
This came in a press briefing issued by the council following a virtual session that was held after concerted and determined efforts by the permanent delegation of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations and the delegation of Yemen, in coordination with brotherly and friendly delegations in the council, especially the delegations of Tunisia, the United States and the United Kingdom, in an attempt to clarify the humanitarian danger to Yemen and the kingdom as well as to the marine environment in the Red Sea and its neighbouring countries, and international maritime navigation routes.
Security Council members called on the Houthi militia to allow inspection of the tanker Safer, provide a safe road to reach the tanker, and all other logistical arrangements, to facilitate the UN technical experts to board the ship unconditionally to assess its condition, make any possible urgent repair to it, make recommendations on safe unloading of its oil, and ensure close cooperation with the United Nations.
Members of the Council expressed their aspirations to move forward to take concrete action sooner without delay with regard to the oil tanker.
The session included a briefing from the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Unger Aderson, who addressed the increased environmental and humanitarian risks posed by the corrosion of the tanker structure, which leaked sea water to its engine compartment on May 27, which requires urgent repair.