Securing Aden: New governor attempts to 'integrate' armed groups

Securing Aden: New governor attempts to 'integrate' armed groups
3 min read
12 October, 2015
Analysis: The new administrator in charge of Yemen's commercial capital will attempt to confiscate arms and recruit resistance fighters into the army.
Yemeni Popular Resistance forces in Aden may be integrated into the army [Anadolu]
The Yemeni government has started a new phase in its operations to reverse the Houthi takeover by planning to secure Aden and the surrounding provinces.

The southern governorate is to be the focus of several security measures; the deployment of police and army forces, the appointment of a governor with a military background, confiscating weapons from armed groups, and integrating "resistance fighters" into the official armed forces.

Such measures come after the Islamic State group targeted the headquarters of the government in Aden last week. On 6 October, IS attacked a hotel that was home to members of the country's exiled government and the Saudi-led coalition forces, particularly delegates from the United Arab Emirates, which lost 15 of its troops in the attack.
     Aden has now largely been militarily secured against rebel attacks by Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh

Aden has now largely been militarily secured against rebel attacks by Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"Prime Minister Khaled Bahah's surprise visit to Riyadh on Sunday comes as part of efforts to secure Aden and explain the security measures that could be taken in Aden and liberated areas," a military source told al-Araby al-Jadeed.

Security and administrative staff will now be fully vetted and reshuffled in the Ministry of Interior, according to a source from within Aden governorate's leadership.

The appointment of a military figure as governor of Aden was the first step in the government's plan.

Major-General Jaafar Mohammad Saad, who helped set up a plan to liberate Aden and was one of the most prominent resistance figures in the city, was appointed as governor of Aden on Friday, 9 October.


A source in Yemen's Security and Military Committee told al-Araby that the government and Arab coalition forces were preparing to deploy a Patriot missile system to intercept any missiles targeting strategic areas and sites, including the government headquarters, ports, presidential palaces, and military camps in Aden.

The Patriot missile system has never officially been sold by its US manufacturers to Yemen, but customers do include Saudi Arabia and the UAE - both of which are fighting the Houthis in what was the Arab world's poorest country even before the war.

The source, who asked not to be named, said the security system would be deployed in the next few days and a comprehensive security plan to secure Aden would be more gradually implemented.

The most difficult mission facing the new governor will be to convince the resistance forces to hand over their weapons and to integrate their fighters into the army - particularly as fears grow that "terrorist" groups may take advantage of armed resistance groups to implement their own projects.

A military source told al-Araby that there was a proposal to integrate the resistance forces into the army that required "training them outside Aden", and "clearing Aden of armed elements", to decrease the pressure on the government.

This proposal, the source said, "would allow the army and coalition forces to identify armed groups that did not fight in the ranks of the resistance, to block the road in the way of any attempt to exploit the name of the resistance by these groups for the purpose of subversion and wreaking havoc with the support of ousted President Saleh".