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In violation of Riyadh agreement, UAE sends military equipment to Socotra

February 27, 2021 at 11:41 am

Dragon Blood trees tower above each other in the Yemeni Island of Socotra, 27 March 2013 [KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images]

In a clear violation of the Riyad Agreement, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sent another batch of military equipment to separatist militias on the Yemeni island of Socotra, a local governor has revealed.

Socotra Governor Ramzi Mahrous on Thursday posted on Facebook that an Emirati ship unloaded military vehicles at Socotra port: “In a flagrant defiance of the legitimate government and local authorities, and a clear attempt to obstruct the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.”

Mahrous described this as: “Clear evidence of the activities taking place in the island to destabilise security, create chaos and undermine the governorate’s sovereignty with foreign support.”

The New Arab reported Director of Socotra Port Riyad Suleiman confirming that 19 military vehicles unloaded from the Emirati ship on Thursday had been seized. The vessel Honor was affiliated with the UAE’s Khalifa Foundation, which provides humanitarian assistance.

Meanwhile, reported a Yemeni source from the island stating: “These UAE military vehicles were sent to be used against civilians and the local population, under the pretext of providing humanitarian aid.”

READ: Israel accused of stealing resources on Yemen’s Socotra, says minister

Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) militias took control of Socotra Island’s capital Hadiboh last June, expelling from it the municipal authority’s leadership, following clashes with forces of Yemen’s internationally-recognised government.

The UAE has long had its sights set on Socotra island, seeking to establish a military presence there to bolster its sphere of influence along the Gulf of Aden and Bab El-Mandeb Strait, The New Arab revealed.

It has supported the STC to create an independent southern state to control Yemen’s ports and boost its maritime trade along these waters.