Saudi Arabia, UAE call for end to Aden infighting

Saudi Arabia, UAE call for end to Aden infighting
3 min read
08 September, 2019
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have called for an end to fighting between UAE-backed southern separatists and the Saudi-backed internationally-recognised government in a joint statement.
UAE-backed southern separatists have been fighting with Yemen's internationally recognized government [Getty]
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have called on southern separatists and the internationally-recognised Yemeni government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to halt all military actions in southern Yemen.

A joint statement by the two Gulf countries, who lead a coalition of Arab states that is fighting the Houthi movement which controls the Yemeni capital Sanaa, called for the separatists and Hadi’s government to prepare for “constructive dialogue”.

The joint statement on Sunday also called for “an immediate end to all military operations as well as violations against any public and private property,” according to state news agencies SPA and WAM.

It also reiterated support for the “legitimate government” of President Hadi, who has been based in Riyadh for several years.

Talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah to end the fighting between the UAE-backed separatists and President Hadi’s government reached a dead end on Friday and both sides were said to be preparing for further battles.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE officially back President Hadi’s government but the UAE has pursued its own agenda in Yemen, supporting the separatist Southern Transitional Council and its associated militias, who want to recreate the state of South Yemen, which existed before 1990, when it united with North Yemen to form the Yemeni Republic.

Last month, UAE backed separatists seized the presidential palace and army camps in Aden. On 29 August, dozens were killed when UAE forces carried out strikes against government forces trying to recapture the city.

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This led to the Yemeni government condemning the UAE and joining calls for a boycott of its Emirates airline, as well as increasing tension between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Saudi Arabia has also threatened the UAE-backed separatists with a “decisive” reaction if they did not return control of Aden to the government.

Meanwhile on Thursday, thousands of separatist supporters rallied in support of the UAE in Aden, many of them waving colorful UAE flags.

Rights groups and activists accuse the UAE and the Saudi-led military coalition of gross human rights violations in Yemen, including airstrikes on homes, schools and hospitals.

Clashes between UAE-backed separatists and government forces - who for years fought on the same side against the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels - have raised fears that the Yemen could break apart entirely.

The Saudi-led coalition first intervened in Yemen in March 2015 as the Houthi rebels closed in on Aden prompting Hadi to flee into Saudi exile.

The conflict has since killed tens of thousands of people - most of them civilians - and driven millions more to the brink of famine in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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