Southern Yemen separatists take over news agency building in Aden

Southern Yemen separatists take over news agency building in Aden
2 min read
08 June, 2021
The UAE-backed council captured another building in Aden this week.
The STC controls Yemen's interim capital Aden which often witnesses clashes [Getty] [Getty Images]

Yemeni separatists overran the official state-run news agency headquarters in the country’s southern de-facto capital Aden on Monday, in their continued push to take over key sites in the city.

"Senior figures of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) seized the second building of the Saba news agency in the Al-Binjasar neighborhood on Monday, next to the Tawahi Post office in Aden," director-general of Saba, Mahmoud Thabet, said in a statement.

He said the STC had already taken over the agency's first, older building last Tuesday.

Thabet considered the latest development to be part of the STC's plans to control official state institutions in Aden.

He slammed it as a "blatant defiance of the Riyadh agreement", which saw peace return to the city after clashes between the separatists and government forces first erupted.

The agency's staff said in a statement that an armed group affiliated with the STC stormed the new Saba building, expelling the civil guard and employees.

The STC's chief, Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, reportedly oversaw the takeover of the agency and ordered it to be renamed "Aden News Agency for the State of the Arab South".

According to Yemeni press sources who spoke to Anadolu Agency, the old building - occupied last week - was looted and destroyed during the Houthi militia's control of parts of the Aden governorate between March and July 2015 and has remained abandoned ever since.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate condemned the incident and held the STC fully responsible, calling on the government and authorities in Aden to protect journalists in Aden and retake control of the buildings.

The STC, backed by the UAE, are in a power-sharing cabinet with Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, which was exiled to Aden after the capital Sanaa was taken over by Houthi rebels in 2014.

The government was formed late last year as a result of a Saudi-UAE deal brokered in 2019.

But tensions have been on the rise in the interim capital between both sides, with continued clashes, kidnappings, and assassinations taking place.