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UAE continues to build bases on Yemen’s Socotra island

December 14, 2020 at 3:19 pm

A military vehicle beloging to Yemen’s southern separatist forces blocks the entrance at a local administration building on the strategic island of Socotra, on June 22, 2020 [AFP via Getty Images]

The UAE has continued to build military bases on the Yemeni island of Socotra with the transportation of military equipment arriving with the approval of Saudi Arabia, a source told Al Jazeera.

The source revealed that the UAE “has pressed to disrupt parliamentary accountability to the government about building UAE bases in Socotra”.

The development comes amid the withdrawal of UAE-backed separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces from parts of the southern mainland, including the interim capital Aden and the Abyan province where there have been “limited clashes” in recent days following the start of the redeployment and reorganisation process in accordance with the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement signed last year between the UN-recognised Yemeni government and the STC.

However on Socotra the STC, which has been in control of the island since June, remains and as of today has reportedly shut down the offices of the State Land and Real Estate Authority and kidnapped its director, according to the Socotra Post.

The Post also reported yesterday that the UAE has sent 40 foreign officials and experts to the island as part of a renewed effort in consolidating its control over the strategically located island.

READ: Saudi-backed Yemen government hails US sanctions on Houthi leaders