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  • According to local media reports, a large number of soldiers returned Sunday from Yemen to UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi. 

    According to local media reports, a large number of soldiers returned Sunday from Yemen to UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi.  | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 February 2020

Despite the support of the U.S. and some European countries, the Saudi-led coalition has not achieved its goals in Yemen, after five years of war.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) has started withdrawing its forces from Yemen, where it took part for five years in the brutal Saudi-led intervention against the Houthis in the impoverished country.

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According to local media reports, a large number of soldiers returned Sunday from Yemen to UAE's capital Abu Dhabi. 

At a medal awarding ceremony for his troops, Deputy Chief of Staff of UAE Armed Forces, General Eisa Saif Al Mazrouei, officially announced that his country was giving up on a direct presence in Yemen. He also announced a withdrawal of all troops from the Arab country. 

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted Sunday that "UAE will remain a bridge to peace & stability, supporting the region's progress of hope for a better life & a better tomorrow."

The aggression against Yemen started in March 2015 with a violent campaign of airstrikes aiming at restoring former president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who had been forced out by the Houthis. 

More than five years of violence later and despite the support of the United States and some European countries, the Saudi-led coalition has not achieved its goal but created instead, the world's worst humanitarian crisis in an already vulnerable country. 

In the meantime, Sudan said it is reconsidering its involvement in the war on Yemen. 

"Currently, there is a revision of the whole war in Yemen, even among the coalition's principal countries, and there is an opinion that military activities will not solve the problem, and will likely to compound it," Information Minister Faisal Mohamed Salih said Sunday.

Khartoum, however, cannot at once pull out of the five-year-old conflict and has to reduce its troops gradually, Salih told an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. 

"We think that the current efforts will soon lead to a decrease in combat activities, which will be replaced by negotiations," he added. 

Up to 40,000 Sudanese troops were sent to Yemen during the peak of the conflict in 2016-2017, according to reports. There were also reports of Sudanese child soldiers fighting in the war.

Separately, an Emirati security company stands accused of recruiting Sudanese civilians with a promise of high salaries for being security guards but instead sending them to fight in Yemen or Lybia.

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