Left Menu
Development News Edition

Saudi rallies around exiled Yemen leader after UAE-backed separatists seize Aden

Reuters | Riyadh | Updated: 12-08-2019 13:57 IST | Created: 12-08-2019 13:52 IST
Saudi rallies around exiled Yemen leader after UAE-backed separatists seize Aden
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Saudi Arabia threw its weight behind Yemen's exiled president, as UAE-backed southern separatists who took over the port of Aden held strong against Riyadh's calls to vacate government sites.

An alliance of Sunni Arab states led by Riyadh has fractured after more than four years fighting on behalf of an ousted Yemeni government against the Iran-aligned, Shi'ite-led Houthi movement that controls the capital and most populous areas. In recent days, the southern separatists, who have been armed and trained by the UAE, have cast off an alliance with the Saudi-backed government and seized control of much of the southern port of Aden, the government's main base.

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia's main military ally in the conflict on the ground for most of the war, has drawn down its forces in the coalition since June. The separatist leader, Southern Transitional Council President Aidaroos al-Zubaidi, said his group still supports the coalition against the Houthis and would attend a proposed emergency summit in Saudi Arabia.

But he did not commit to withdrawing his forces from government buildings they seized on Saturday after clashes that killed 40 people including civilians. Riyadh made clear it still backs the government, led by exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who has mainly lived in Saudi Arabia since fleeing Yemen's capital in 2014.

King Salman and his son, the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prime Mohammed bin Salman, both met Hadi on Sunday. The coalition, still led by Saudi Arabia and still formally including the UAE, said it hit a separatist area on Sunday and vowed to carry out more attacks if the southerners did not withdraw.

Residents said fighting has ended since the separatists seized government military bases and surrounded the nearly empty presidential palace in Aden on Saturday. "It is quiet now but people are still worried. We don't know where matters are heading," Aden resident Adel Mohammed told Reuters on Monday. He said power and water supplies had been restored but could be disrupted again if the crisis continues.

Local media quoted an official at Aden's airport as saying flights had resumed on Sunday. Zubaidi said the separatists, who want an independent south Yemen, had no choice but to seize Aden following a deadly Houthi missile strike on southern forces earlier this month. The separatists accuse a party allied to Hadi of being complicit in the Houthi missile strike, which it denies.

"We were left with two options: defend ourselves or surrender to the eradication of our just cause and souls," Zubaidi said in a statement from Aden late on Sunday. The rift in the coalition complicates U.N. efforts to implement a stalled peace deal in the main port city of Hodeidah to pave the way for broader political talks to end the war. The southern separatists and UAE forces played a major role on the ground in a coalition attempt to seize Hodeidah and cut off supply lines to Houthi-held areas.

The four-and-a-half-year-old war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. The UAE has armed and trained thousands of southern fighters who answer to Zubaidi, a militia leader who emerged from relative obscurity in late 2015 after helping purge the Houthis from Aden.

Violence has escalated in other parts of Yemen after the Houthis stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities. The coalition said it attacked Houthi targets in the northern Hajjah province on Sunday that the movement's al-Masirah TV said killed 11 civilians. The alliance said it was investigating civilian deaths in the airstrikes.



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...


Latest News

FACTBOX-Notable legal opinions of Trump's planned U.S. Supreme Court pick Barrett

Amy Coney Barrett, who President Donald Trump plans to pick for a lifetime job on the U.S. Supreme Court, has served as a federal appeals court judge since 2017 and has weighed in on cases involving several hot-button issues including abort...

Beijing autoshow: Demand rebound, EV boom mix with murky outlook

Chinas auto market has rebounded smartly from the COVID-19 crash in recent months, especially for high-end cars, but questions about the durability of that recovery will hang over the Beijing autoshow, starting on Saturday.A rare industry e...

Trump to nominate conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Ginsburg, sources say

President Donald Trump plans on Saturday to name conservative federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, two sources said on Friday. His d...

Family demands release of evidence in Breonna Taylor's case

Breonna Taylors family demanded on Friday that Kentucky authorities release all body camera footage, police files and the transcripts of the grand jury hearings that led to no charges against police officers who killed the Black woman durin...

Give Feedback