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Southern Yemen military personnel threaten to take control of Aden presidential palace

December 22, 2020 at 4:43 pm

Fighters from the separatist Southern Transitional Council take control of a pro-government checkpoint in Khormaksar, north of Aden, on January 30, 2018 [SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP via Getty Images]

The Coordinating Council for Retired Military and Security personnel in southern Yemen have today threatened to take control of the presidential Al-Maashiq palace in the interim capital of Aden in addition to the city’s airport and other facilities.

The threat comes ahead of the expected return of the Saudi-based exiled Yemeni government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to the southern port city following the formation of a new unity government in accordance with last year’s Riyadh Agreement signed between Hadi’s government and the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC). The latter had been in control of the palace and Aden since August last year.

According to the Yemen Press Agency, the Coordinating Council’s statement issued today gave the new government two weeks to implement its demands for the payment of six months’ salaries in addition to the previous years of 2016 and 2017.

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They also called on the government to provide a solution for the demobilised military personnel and to reinstate those who are able to serve while also restructuring the armed factions still operating in Aden.

Yesterday, in a statement reported by Al-Arabiya TV, Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik who retained his position in the new government, praised Saudi Arabia’s role in “supporting Yemeni unity and sovereignty and has worked to end the divisions among the Yemenis”

“The new government is a national not quota government. It paves the way for a new era in the country,” he added.

The 24-minister government includes representation from the STC and the Islah Party but has been criticised for excluding women members, the first such administration in 20 years prompting four MPs to threaten the government with a vote of no confidence. Friday’s announcement of the new government comes after the redeployment of warring Islah and STC militia to focus on the country’s northern regions dominated by Houthi and their allied forces in the army.

READ: Failure to realise Yemen’s political reality prolongs the conflict and crisis