Reuters / FW1F / Mike Collett-White
Twenty-two aid organizations have urged the administration of US President Joe Biden to return to designating the “Ansar Allah” Houthi group a “terrorist organization,” warning that this designation threatens aid to the country mired in war.
The organizations, including Oxfam and the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a statement that the classification came “at a time when famine is a real threat to a country devastated by six years of conflict, and it must be canceled immediately.”
She added that “any disruption of relief operations and commercial imports of food, fuel, medicine and other basic commodities would endanger the lives of millions of people.”
And Anthony Blinken, whom Biden had chosen to take over the State Department, pledged Tuesday to “immediately reconsider” the decision of outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to designate the Houthis a “terrorist organization.”
The classification is expected to hinder many dealings with the Houthis, including money transfers and payments to medical staff, food and fuel, for fear of being subjected to US sanctions.
While Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government welcomed the US decision, prominent US lawmakers called for a quick reversal of the move, while senior United Nations officials warned of famine if the decision was implemented.