UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Yemeni separatists raised their flags on Aden’s buildings and streets to show control after a week of fighting with government forces, reflecting a new political and military reality in the southern port city.
Aden, the provisional seat of the internationally recognized government, has been the scene of violent clashes between southern separatist forces and government forces this month, which ended with the separatists taking control of most government buildings and camps in the coastal city, most notably the presidential palace.
According to the United Nations, 40 people were killed and 260 wounded.
Southern separatists and Hadi’s government forces are fighting together as part of a Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in a dispute that has put millions of people on the brink of starvation.
But despite fighting the rebels together, separatists and government forces are locked in a battle to consolidate influence in Aden, the capital of the former southern state before its union with the north in 1990 and the birth of Yemen.
A week after the cessation of hostilities, life returned to normal in Aden.
The separatist fighters have enjoyed strong public support in Aden, but the main concern of the population remains the provision of services in their poverty-stricken city since the beginning of the recent Yemen conflict in 2014.
“It is our greatest concern that will provide us with the necessary services and pay the salaries of tens of thousands of employees,” Saleh Nasr told AFP.
“If the transitional council is capable of managing the affairs of the south, we are with it,” he said.
Saleh al-Haij, in turn, expressed the hope that separatist control would be a prelude to improving services.
“There are many things that are absent, such as water and electricity,” said Alhaij, who put a picture of transitional council president Aidroos al-Zubaidi on his shirt.
– Enforce security –
Aden suffers from a lack of access to basic services. Its residents blame the government of recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi for the deteriorating situation, accusing ministers of corruption and of allowing Islamist influence to grow.
It was not the first time the separatists had clashed with pro-Hadi units against the backdrop of the accusations. Including the impact of reaching an agreement.
As in the aftermath of the 2018 fighting, the separatists this week raised the southern flag with its colors, blue, white and black and its red star, on government buildings, and hung it on lighting poles in the streets of Aden.
In the city center, a large picture of Zubaidi read: “The people of the south are behind you, our leader.” His pictures were also affixed to cars that hung the southern flag at the front and roamed the streets of Aden.
“We are with the transitional council,” he said.
Checkpoints were deployed in the city. At one of the entrances, two fighters in military uniform stopped cars one by one for inspection near an iron barrier with the words “Stop … the security belt”.
The “security belt” is the main southern force trained and armed by the United Arab Emirates, the main partner in the Saudi-led military alliance.
– “Regionalism” –
The Hadi government is demanding the withdrawal of separatists from the positions they held before any dialogue, considering that what happened “a coup.” The separatists have already begun a pullout from some positions on Saturday, but they still control camps and interior ministry security headquarters.
Analysts expect the separatists to opt for dialogue now under pressure from Saudi Arabia instead of declaring independence, but have ruled out any withdrawal from Aden.
For some Aden residents from other areas, the biggest fear is that they will be deported as the separatists consolidate control of the city.
Yemenis whose origins originate in northern Yemen earlier this month were subjected to “arbitrary arrests, detentions and forced displacement” in Aden, according to the United Nations.
Mohammed Abdullah, whose origins are in northern Yemen, expressed fear of deportation.
“We are not with any party, but after the control of the transitional council, we are afraid that regionalism will increase and northern workers will be deported on the basis of regional screening,” he told AFP.
“Our work and interests are many in the south.”
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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