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Yemen Interior Minister: 'Saudi Arabia's silence on events in Socotra and Aden is proof of complicity'

Socotra Island (Wikipedia)

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ahmed Al-Misri announced that the statements issued by the Yemeni presidency and the government regarding the Southern Transitional Council's (STC) autonomous self-administration are not enough, considering that Riyadh's silence on current events in Socotra and Aden is proof of complicity.

Al-Misri told Al-Jazeera that the guarantor of the Riyadh agreement is Saudi Arabia, which makes the Saudi authorities responsible for identifying the party that is hindering the peace track.

He noted that before the month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia asked President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to postpone the army's entry to Aden from Shuqrah in the Abyan governorate, adding that President Hadi made a mistake when he agreed to delay the army's entry to Aden in response to Saudi Arabia's request.

Al-Misri also indicated that the self-management project has been designed, announced and managed from Abu Dhabi.

The Yemeni official indicated that the Emiratis disrupted the social fabric in Socotra and created conflict within the community, confirming that the Arab coalition recruited a group of officers in Socotra using Emirati funds to take over the island's military division.

READ: UAE stealing Yemen's Socotra manuscripts and artefacts, reports

He also pointed out that the south fell into a circle of ambitions, most notably those of the Arab coalition, in the sense of being able to secure a standing on the ground.

Local sources told Al-Jazeera that government forces in the Yemeni province of Socotra managed to expel gunmen affiliated with the Emirati-backed STC from the headquarters of the local authority after storming it and raising the flag of the former People's Democratic Republic of Yemen on the main gate of the building.

The sources conveyed that pro-STC protesters denounced the death of a soldier who was allegedly killed in confrontations with the government forces during an operation to prevent the STC fighters from breaking into Hadiboh city. The demonstrators noted also that the government forces attempted instead to attack the local authority building and raise the flag of People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

These developments took place in Socotra, one of the southern governorates, after the STC announced on 25 April what it called "self-management of the south", starting from Aden.

The Yemeni government considered this announcement as a second coup against legitimacy following the August coup, and called on the international community and the Arab League to intervene in order to end it.

Yesterday the pro-Houthi Al-Masirah TV quoted the minister of health stating that the authorities discovered the first case of infection with COVID-19 in Sanaa, after a Somali national was found dead in a hotel after testing positive for the virus.

Yemen: 3 UAE-backed battalions rebel against Saudi-backed government in Socotra

Al-Masirah TV reported that the Yemeni authorities had examined the body and found that the Somali citizen had died of the virus, adding that all the persons who interacted with the deceased were quarantined.

Yemen recorded two new confirmed cases of infection with the coronavirus in Hadhramaut, bringing the total number of people diagnosed with the disease in the war-torn country to 12, including two deaths.

Yemen recorded its first case of infection with COVID-19 in Hadhramaut on 10 April. The two new cases are being treated in an isolation facility in the city Mukalla, the coastal capital of Hadhramaut.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed concerns over the heavy impact of COVID-19 on Yemen due to extremely low levels of immunity against diseases among the population, compared to other countries.

Around 80 per cent of the Yemeni population (about 24 million people) depend on humanitarian aid, while ten million are at risk of starvation. Diseases are also widespread in the country.

Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUAEYemen
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