11 Seafarers From 5 Countries Held Onboard Cargo Ship Rwabee Hijacked By Houthi Rebels

Rwabee, the UAE-flagged cargo ship which was hijacked by Yemeni outfit Houthis off the coast of Yemen’s Al Hudaydah governate on Sunday, 2nd January has eleven crew-members from five nationalities, informed UAE, to the President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday.

11 Seafarers From 5 Countries Held Onboard Cargo Ship Rwabee Hijacked By Houthi Rebels
File photo of cargo ship Rwabee

Read Our Original Report: UAE-Flagged Cargo Ship Rwabee Hijacked By Terrorist Outfit Houthi Off Al Hudaydah

Held hostage from the past nine days, are seven Indian seamen, and one seafarer each from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, mentioned the UAE’s representative to the UNSC in a letter, as reported by AFP.

The Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels have actively denounced the claims of the vessel being hijacked as an ‘act of piracy’, and have published a video depicting the military equipment present onboard the vessel.

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This has debunked the claims of Brigadier General Turki Al Malki, the official spokesperson of the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, that Rwabee was conducting a maritime mission from the Socotra Island to Jizan Port, and was laden with medical field equipment which were used to operate the Saudi Field Hospital on the Island.

The pictures and videos released by the Houthis depicts a dozen of various types of military trucks, which includes at-least one Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) variant, which is made in the U.S., a pair of inflatable boats and various other military items such as AK-type rifles, gun magazines, body armors and helmets.

UAE ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, referring to the Rwabee as a ‘civilian cargo ship’, has said that such an act of piracy contradicts with international laws and therefore poses a threat to the safety, security and the freedom of navigation, other than disrupting trade operations which take place through the Red Sea, thereby hampering the regional stability and security.

Nusseibeh has further claimed that Rwabee was leased by a Saudi enterprise to transport equipment for use at a field hospital.

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Brigadier General Turki Al Malki too, has previously claimed that vessel’s field hospital equipment includes ambulances, medical equipment, tents, communication devices, field laundry units, technical support equipment, security support equipment and a field kitchen.

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