Saudi-backed Yemeni gov't to resume work in Aden after deal with separatist forces

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-02 04:41:17|Editor: pengying
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ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Saudi-backed Yemeni government will temporarily resume work in the southern city of Aden following an agreement with separatist forces, a military official told Xinhua Wednesday.

The Saudi-led coalition brokered an agreement between the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to diffuse the ongoing tensions in Aden, said the Yemeni military official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"The STC agreed to give the country's Presidency some time to replace the Aden-based government," the official said, adding that Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr and his cabinet members will not depart from the city.

President Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will declare a new decision in the next days to form a caretaker government, the source said.

Another source based in Aden said that the two-warring sides agreed to move all the military bases to new locations outside Aden.

Hours after the agreement, scores of detained soldiers and officers from the two-warring sides were released from the jails in Aden.

A source from the Southern Transitional Council told Xinhua by phone that new commanders will be appointed by the STC to lead the military bases of the Presidential Guard Forces in Aden.

He confirmed that if Hadi ignored the STC demands that included replacing the government within the next days then the infighting in Aden "may reoccur and everything will be changed."

On Sunday, the forces of the internationally-backed government engaged in fierce armed confrontations with the separatist STC forces in Aden after a decision made by the authorities to ban anti-corruption demonstrations.

Tensions in southern Yemen began last week when the STC leadership gave President Hadi a one-week deadline to replace the government due to its "rampant corruption and embezzlement."

But Hadi defied the STC calls and ordered his forces to confront and crush the separatist militias which he described as plotting "to stage a new coup" against the government.

The STC forces on Tuesday captured the the whole city of Aden and declared victory after storming all the pro-Hadi military bases.

Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr and his cabinet ministers were all protected by the well-trained Saudi forces that prevented the STC forces from storming the Presidential Palace in Aden's district of Crater.

The STC, established in May 2017 just a few days after ending the partnership with the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, is seeking independence and the restoration of the former South Yemen state.

The two groups had been united throughout Yemen's three-year civil war against the Iranian-backed Houthis in the north, However, the conflicts could hinder the efforts of the Saudi-led coalition to deter the Iranian expansion in Yemen.

The southern port city of Aden is considered as Yemen's temporary capital where the Saudi-backed Yemeni government has based there since 2015.

Yemen's government, allied with the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for about three years been battling Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels over control of the country.

The coalition began an air campaign in March 2015 to try to roll back the Houthis' gains and reinstate Hadi and his government to the power.