The UAE-trained Southern Resistance militia, aligned with the Southern Transitional Council (STC), has refused to vacate and hand over the Presidential Palace of Maashiq in Yemen’s port city of Aden to Saudi forces who are in support of exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Adel Al-Hassani of the Southern Resistance is quoted by local sources as saying “the Southern Transitional Council’s militias still control all of Hadi’s forces camps and state institutions, which indicates their rejection of the Riyadh Agreement”. Signed at the start of the month, the peace deal allowed for Hadi’s government to return to Aden as part of a power sharing agreement with the UAE-backed STC.
The commander of the so-called First Presidential Protection Brigade in Hadi’s forces, Brigadier General Sanad Abdullah Al-Rahwa, had been dispatched to Aden on Monday with the task of reconstituting the brigade and establishing control over the city, which is to serve as the interim capital.
The STC view it as the future capital of a South Yemen state.
Anti-Houthi coalition partners the UAE and Saudi Arabia had allegedly reached a deal in Riyadh which sought to address the internal clash of interests and set about a power-sharing arrangement. However, certain separatist elements and organisations, many of which have been supported by the UAE for years, have refused to hand over their positions putting at risk the nascent deal and a concentrated effort in fighting against the alliance of the Houthi movement and factions of the Yemeni armed forces in the north.