Separatists Take Over Gov’t Headquarters in Aden

Witnesses said there was heavy security deployment in Aden, and that schools, government service buildings and most shops were shut down. Witnesses said there was heavy security deployment in Aden, and that schools, government service buildings and most shops were shut down.

The prime minister of the government of the ousted Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is based in Aden, has accused separatist forces backed by the United Arab Emirates of staging a coup in the southern city after they took over government headquarters.

“In Aden, legitimacy is being overturned. What is happening in Aden is very dangerous and affects its security and the stability and unity of Yemen,” Ahmed bin Dagher said in a statement on Sunday, Al Jazeera reported.

The prime minister called on the Saudi-led military coalition, which fights the Houthi forces who are in control of the capital Sanaa, to intervene in Aden, stressing that the UAE was the “decision-maker” in the city.

Clashes broke on Sunday between the army of Hadi, who is supported by Saudi Arabia, and UAE-backed forces seeking separation from the country’s north.

Sunday’s clashes unfolded after presidential guard forces blocked supporters of Yemen’s Southern Transitional Council from holding a sit-in demonstration.

  Tight Security

Witnesses said there was heavy security deployment, and that schools, government service buildings and most shops remained closed.

This comes after Hadi’s government banned public gatherings on Saturday, ahead of an ultimatum given by the separatist movement, which demanded Hadi to dismiss his cabinet, or face an overthrow.

Aidarous al-Zubaidi, the leader of the Southern Transitional Council, said Yemen’s parliament would be barred from convening in Aden or anywhere else in southern Yemen unless Hadi replaced prime minister Ahmed bin Dagher and his entire cabinet.

Zubaidi accused Hadi’s government of “rampant corruption” and of “waging a misinformation campaign against the southern leaders using state funds.”

  UAE Involvement

The secessionist leader’s announcement underscored rising tensions between Hadi’s government and the southern separatists.

The UAE entered Yemen’s war in March 2015 as part of a Saudi-led coalition after Houthis, traditionally based in the northwest of the country, overran much of the country, including Sanaa, in 2014.

The UAE has been financing and training armed groups in the south who answer to Zubaidi, a 50-year-old militia leader who emerged from relative obscurity in late 2015 after helping drive the Houthis from Aden.

The STC was formed in 2017 to push for the country’s division between north and south.

Zubaidi was initially rewarded and made governor of Aden by Hadi, but soon fell out of favor after reports emerged he was receiving patronage from the UAE to campaign for secession.

Hadi’s weakening has gone hand-in-hand with the UAE’s growing power in southern Yemen.

The Persian Gulf nation has financed a network of militias that only answer to it, set up prisons, and created a security establishment parallel to Hadi’s government, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Arab coalition has so far failed to achieve its stated aims as Houthis continue to hold the capital and much of the north.

The war has taken a huge toll on the country with more than 10,000 people killed, and millions of Yemenis at risk of famine amid a massive cholera outbreak.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints