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Yemen: UAE withholding $679m of state employee wages

A ship is seen docked in a port in Yemen [File photo]
A ship is seen docked in port of Hodeidah, Yemen [File photo]

UAE forces who are controlling the port of Aden have confiscated 170 billion riyals ($679 million) which are to be used to pay the salaries of state employees, video footage of Yemen’s Interior Minister Ahmed Al-Misri has revealed.

“The money is being held in the port of Aden on the order of an [unnamed] Emirati officer,” Al-Misri said.

“My personal money cannot be taken out, I am detained for no reason, only by the temperament of an Emirati officer,” Al-Misri said.

The funds, he explained, are to be used to pay the salaries of civil servants. They had been printed in Saudi Arabia with coordination by the International Monetary Fund and have been held by UAE forces for 28 days.

In an interview he gave last week, Al-Misri said the UAE was occupying Yemen.

Emiratis have helped us, but now you cannot go to the port without the UAE permission. You cannot go to the airport without the UAE permission. You cannot even enter or leave Aden without the UAE permission.

Aden, he explained, is witnessing “an undeclared occupation, and many indicators on the ground support this.”

The UAE took control of Aden under the pretext of confronting the Houthis and supported the establishment and formation of armed militias there.

READ: Yemen calls on UAE to stop destroying Socotra Island

The Yemeni government has been suffering for nearly a year in a crisis to pay the salaries of 67,000 employees.

The UAE joined a Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting in Yemen against the Iran-backed Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The coalition entered the war in 2015 to reinstate the UN-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. However in recent months the UAE has been found to be backing the Southern Transitional Council in an effort to split Yemen in to two countries, North and South, contrary to the objectives of the coalition.

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