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Emirati infiltration in Yemen: company in Abu Dhabi provides Aden with surveillance cameras

January 26, 2023 at 1:58 pm

A Yemeni flag waves in the city of Taez [AHMAD AL-BASHA/AFP/Getty Images]

The Minister of State and Governor of Aden, Ahmed Lamlas, who is affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council STC (separatist), which is backed by the UAE, has signed an agreement on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, with a “specialised Emirati company to enhance the security system with modern surveillance cameras”, in a step that strengthens, according to observers, the presence of the UAE and consolidates its security control in the city of Aden, which is controlled by the STC militia.

The news published by the Yemen News Agency, SABA (the government version), did not mention the name of the company, in reference to the deliberate concealment of the name for purposes that increase observers’ suspicions about this step, backed by UAE security services.

According to the news, “the agreement stipulates providing the security services with a modern camera system that will be installed in the streets and neighbourhoods of the interim capital, Aden, to monitor the security situation, security breaches, besides combating crimes, chaos and terrorist acts”.

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Since it intervened in the war in Yemen as part of an alliance with Saudi Arabia, the UAE has worked to establish militias affiliated with it, such as the Security Belt Forces, the Southern Transitional Council Forces, the Hadrami Elite Forces, and the Shabwani Elite Forces, in addition to the Republican Guard Forces in the West Coast and other militias that are financed and controlled by Abu Dhabi.

A Yemeni source was surprised by the signing of this agreement with an Emirati company, even if it was funded by the government in Abu Dhabi, especially since it relates to a security system, at a time when the UAE is still present through its militias or forces in southern Yemen regions. In addition, the UAE continues to establish military bases on Mayyun Island on the Red Sea and Abd Al Kuri Island in the Socotra Archipelago on the Indian Ocean.

“In light of the presence of UAE militias in Aden, it was difficult to permit a non-Emirati company to take over the responsibility of installing a modern surveillance camera system. And entrusting an Emirati company to taking over the implementation of this plan comes in the context of strengthening the Emirati security presence,” said the source, who requested anonymity for security reasons.

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The source did not rule out that the signing of this agreement came according to what was stipulated in the security and military cooperation agreement signed between the two sides in December.

On the eighth of last December, the Yemeni Minister of Defence, Mohsen Al-Daeri, signed with the Emirati Minister of Justice, Abdullah Al Nuaimi, an agreement for military and security cooperation that caused widespread controversy.

At the beginning of this month, the Yemeni government also approved granting a concession to build and operate the port of Qishn in Al Mahrah Governorate (east) for a period of fifty years, in favour of the Emirati company Ajham, in light of circulated reports of ongoing procedures to grant another Emirati company the concession of a mobile telecommunications company in government-controlled areas, which are internationally recognised.

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