The security situation in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden has continued to deteriorate amid reports that the UAE-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) have prevented the incoming police chief of the city to assume his position.
Brigadier General Ahmed Al-Hamidi was appointed by the exiled but internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi two months ago as Aden’s new police chief. The appointment was part of the Saudi initiative, the Riyadh Agreement, which seeks a power sharing arrangement between the Hadi government and the STC.
However, in spite of this, it has been reported that the STC have not allowed Al-Hamidi to assume his role until the future of the former police chief Shalal Shayea is determined. The UAE is in favour of Shayea being made interior minister or deputy interior minister in the proposed new government, however this has been turned down by Hadi according to news site Debfriefer.
Earlier this week an STC official stated that Yemeni unity was impossible and that the success of any political process depends on the aspirations of southerners’ right to self-determination.
Aden was intended to serve as the interim capital of the Hadi government after it fled the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which is now under the control of the rival Houthi-aligned National Salvation Government. In August 2019 Aden was captured by the STC militia, which has since then been engaged in regular clashes with forces fighting on behalf of the Hadi government in the southern provinces.
On Thursday, the city also witnessed a protest vigil by mothers of kidnapped and detained citizens in UAE-run secret prisons in Aden. The Mothers of Abductees Association renewed calls for the release of 41 detainees in Bir Ahmed prison, for the disclosure of information about the fate of 37 citizens who were forcibly disappeared for more than four years without legal justification, according to the Yemen Press Agency.