Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Dead, 185 Wounded in Fighting in Southern Yemen

Supporters of southern Yemeni separatists take part in an anti-government protest in Aden Yemen on Sunday Supporters of southern Yemeni separatists take part in an anti-government protest in Aden Yemen on Sunday
Andrew Cummings | 01 February, 2018, 00:25

The fighting has pitted forces loyal to the war-torn country's president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, against separatists who want an independent southern Yemeni state.

Fighters from the Southern Resistance Forces - a group seeking secession for southern Yemen - seized the area around the presidential Al-Mashaiq Palace where Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghar and members of his Cabinet are believed to be holed up.

Yemen fell into civil war in 2014 when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing Yemen's Saudi-backed government to set up an interim capital in Aden.

It has also exposed deep cracks within the Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels on behalf of Hadi's government since March 2015.

The violence in Aden has killed at least 36 people and wounded 185 since Sunday, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Fierce fighting previously broke out between militants and the Yemeni government forces, on Sunday.

"After defeating the government forces in Aden and losing the battle, the prime minister may leave Aden via an airplane to Saudi Arabia", he added.

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"The coalition renews its call to all parties to cease fire immediately and ends all forms of armed conflict", the coalition said in a statement cited by the Saudi SPA agency.

Separatists have dispatched additional forces from the central province of Marib and the southern province of Abyan, security sources said. Southern Yemen was united with Northern Yemen in 1990.

Saudi troops who have been guarding the palace for months stopped the separatists at the gate, preventing them from entering.

Hadi, who has been in Saudi Arabia for most of the war, has described the separatists' action as a "coup".

Rifts exploded within the US -backed alliance joining Yemen's president and the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels, as forces loyal to each side turned on each other in fierce fighting this week.

The Coalition sought joint work with the legitimate Yemeni parties to liberate the country from enemies and avoid any reasons that may lead to division and split, and undermining the State's institutions in Yemen.

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