Yenmen’s internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi called out the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for leading a “coup” in Aden yesterday, Al Jazeera reported.
“In Aden, legitimacy is being overturned,” Hadi said in a statement. “What is happening is very dangerous and affects the security, stability and unity of Yemen… This wrongdoing is no different than the crimes committed by the Houthis in Sanaa.”
Hadi’s national army clashed with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces when they attempted to enter the southern city yesterday morning. The clashes resulted in the killing of at least ten and the injury of 30.
Tensions in south Yemen began last week when the STC vowed to overthrow the government of Ahmed Bin Daghr unless Hadi dismissed the cabinet in the south by Sunday. Hadi did not give in to the calls by the STC, and placed a ban on all protests in Aden ahead of the separatist deadline.
The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash claimed in a tweet that the Emirates’ actions in Yemen are “supportive of the Arab alliance led by Saudi Arabia”.
In mid-2016, Hadi criticised the UAE for supporting the formation of the Southern Transitional Council and said the Emirates is “behaving like an occupier” not a “liberator”.
The UAE is officially part of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition which was invited by Hadi in March 2015 to neutralise territorial threats posed by the Iranian-backed Houthi group. Since 2017, the UAE has been supportive of the STC’s formation and its intentions to secede from northern Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has not publically commented on UAE’s activities in the south of Yemen, although the Emirates’ activity is in tension with the original aims of intervention in Yemen.
“The STC is part of the solution, not a part of the problem, and therefore there has been no negative attitude announced by the Saudi leadership,” the STC spokesperson told MEMO last year.
The UAE continues to finance and train the STC forces led by their leader Aidarous Al-Zubaidi.