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The New Arab Staff

Yemen cracks down on Emirati charities for 'undermining stability' amid separatist power play

The UAE has been accused of sowing discord in the south [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 June, 2020

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Foreign charities will be reviewed by Yemen's government for attempting to sow discord across the war-torn country under the guide of humanitarian work.
Yemen's internationally-recognised government is reviewing Emirati charities and other organisations participating in humanitarian work in the war-torn country, noting suspicious activities designed to undermine stability.

Yemen's cabinet on Monday demanded authorities on the ground launch reviews of regional and foreign organisations operating in Yemen that are practicing political discord under the cover of charity, the official SABA News Agency reported.

Authorities accused the organisations of contributing to instability in the country, just days after UAE-backed forces captured control of Socotra Island from the Saudi-backed government.

The cabinet confirmed the organisations under review are operating without licenses from relevant authorities, though it failed to name them.

However, a government source revealed to The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister platform, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the list includes the UAE's Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Foundation, which has an office on the embattled Socotra island. The organisation does not have offices in any other city in mainland Yemen where the conflict has affected millions of civilians. 

Other foreign organisations including some from Turkey, the source revealed.

The move comes just days after Yemen's Minister of Information Mukhtar Al-Rahbi accused the Khalifa Foundation of attempting to "brainwash" young students on the Socotra Island with pro-UAE curriculum at schools. 

The UAE is a pivotal partner in the Saudi-led coalition and has been fighting alongside government forces since the March 2015 intervention.

However, tensions are rising between the government and the UAE which has been accused of sowing discord across the south of the country by supporting anti-government separatist groups.

The in-fighting between the coalition's main allies has caused a number of heated battles in the south, bringing both parties toe-to-toe in recent years.

On Sunday, a senior Yemeni official said the intervention of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen's civil war has been a failure, in unprecedented critical remarks.

Ahmed Bin Daghr, an aide to Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and a former prime minister, said the war "has achieved nothing of its objectives, destroying Yemen as a state," according to Bloomberg.

"The military option is no longer a viable means," Bin Daghr reportedly said in a statement, calling for direct negotiations to be supervised by the United Nations.

Read also: Yemen in Focus: HRW says UN move to remove Saudi-led coalition from child-killer blacklist 'shameful'

Bin Daghr's comments come just days after UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatists gained control of the strategic Socotra island and started implementing self-rule.

Forces loyal to the Saudi-backed government withdrew from the Socotra battle in what they said was an attempt to "deescalate the situation".

The withdrawal was blasted by Yemeni officials who viewed the move as a "betrayal" by the Gulf kingdom, which had recently announced an initiative aimed at resolving the deadlock between the warring sides.

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