The foreign minister of the UN-recognised Yemeni government, Muhammad Al-Hadrami, has denounced the continued presence of UAE-backed separatist militia on the island of Socotra as “unacceptable” amid reports that the Saudi brokered power-sharing deal signed last year, known as the Riyadh Agreement is nearing implementation on the southern mainland.
Al-Hadrami’s comments were made yesterday during a meeting with the Belgian Ambassador to Yemen, Dominique Minor, where he expressed concern over the current state of the archipelago which has been under the effective control of the UAE-supported militia affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) since June.
Similar sentiments were made on Wednesday by Yemen’s fisheries minister, Fahd Kafaien, who tweeted: “It is unacceptable to ignore the coup that took place in the Socotra Archipelago and to go to the government’s announcement without adhering to the pledges made that stipulated the withdrawal of armed militias from state institutions and the return of the archipelago to the state and legitimacy.”
“It was previously agreed to normalising the situations in Socotra and restoring the island to its former condition before the STC coup, prior to starting the Riyadh pact’s implementation,” he added.
Despite recent developments that suggest the Riyadh Agreement is being adhered to in respect to STC militias withdrawing from the interim capital Aden and the Abyan province, the UAE is continuing to build military bases on the strategically located island, much to the dismay of local residents who perceive it to be a foreign occupation.
Saudi Ambassador to Yemen, Mohammad Al-Jaber, announced yesterday the completion of military arrangements in accordance with the Riyadh Agreement which has led to the redeployment of both the STC militia and those fighting on behalf of the Saudi-based Yemeni government to focus on areas in the north which are under the control of the Houthi-led National Salvation Government (NSG) which is based in the capital Sanaa. Local military officials said: “The process of redeployment warring troops was completed successfully under the auspices of observers of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.”