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‘UAE imposed full sovereignty on Socotra,’ says Yemen official

Socotra Islands in the Arabian Sea [Wikipedia]
Socotra Islands in the Arabian Sea [Wikipedia]

A Yemeni government official said yesterday that the Governorate of Socotra Archipelago has become subject to “full Emirati sovereignty”.

In a tweet, adviser to the minister of information Mukhtar Al-Rahbi said  the UAE intends to separate the province from Yemen and establish military bases over the coming period under the pretext of “protecting it from Qatar and Turkey“.

He also accused the Emirates of “seeking full control of the archipelago’s air and sea domains, seizing its natural resources, and transferring the necessary plants, minerals and precious stones to Abu Dhabi.”

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There was no immediate comment from the UAE on Al-Rahbi’s accusations.

On 19 June, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized the city of Hadiboh, capital of Socotra, after fighting against government forces.

Socotra is the largest island of the archipelago, which consists of six islands and stands in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean, off the Horn of Africa’s coast, near the Gulf of Aden.

The Yemeni government accuses the UAE of supporting the separatist STC to serve its own ambitions in the country. Abu Dhabi has always denied these accusations.

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