The Houthi militia seized a UAE ship in the Red Sea off Yemen earlier this month. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi militia in Yemen had said that the UAE-flagged vessel carrying medical equipment was attacked and seized by the Houthi militia. Now, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has revealed in a statement on Tuesday that seven out of 11 persons on board "Rwabee" ship are Indians and that the Centre is making efforts to secure their early release.

"Government of India has been closely monitoring developments following the seizure of the UAE flagged ship Rwabee off the port of Hodeidah (Yemen) by the Houthis on January 2, 2022. We are in touch with the company operating the ship and have been informed that out of the 11 crew members on board the ship, seven are from India," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

Arindam Bagchi, IFS
Arindam Bagchi, IFSTwitter

Bagchi also confirmed that all Indian crew members aboard the seized ship are safe.

"We also understand from the company and other sources that all Indian crew members are safe. Government of India is making all efforts to secure their early release. We urge the Houthis to ensure the safety and well-being of the crew members and release them immediately," he added.

UN called for maximum restraint

Earlier this month, the UN called for maximum restraint after the Houthi militia in Yemen seized a United Arab Emirates (UAE) ship.

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"We reaffirm the need to respect the rights and obligations relating to maritime navigation in accordance with international law. We urge all concerned parties and countries in the region to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from taking any escalatory action," the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was quoted as saying on January 6.

The spokesman said the UN reiterates its call "for the Yemeni parties to engage with the special envoy of the secretary-general (Hans Grundberg of Sweden) and his mediation efforts with the aim to advance the political process to reach a comprehensive, negotiated settlement to end the conflict in the country".