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  • Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a military vehicle during clashes with government forces in Aden.

    Members of UAE-backed southern Yemeni separatist forces stand by a military vehicle during clashes with government forces in Aden. | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 August 2019

UAE-backed separatists seized control earlier this month of the southern port city of Aden, where Saudi-backed government has its interim seat.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen announced Monday the creation of a joint committee composed of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The committee is expected to start working this week into the stabilization of the ceasefire in the southern Yemeni provinces of Shabwah and Abyan, according to local media.

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The statement was issued by both countries ministries of foreign affairs and called for dialogue to address the causes and consequences of the events in the southern provinces, urging all sides to collaborate with the committee in order to conclude the disengagement and the redeployment of troops.

“Both countries reaffirm their keenness to preserve the Yemeni state and the interests, security, stability, independence and territorial integrity of the Yemeni people under the leadership of the legitimate president of Yemen, and to counter the coup of the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist militia and other terrorist organizations,” the statement said.

UAE-backed separatists had seized control earlier this month of the southern strategic port city of Aden, where the Saudi-backed government has its interim seat.

Both parties pertain to the Saudi-led coalition that launched a war in Yemen in 2015, against the Houthi rebels.  

However, the Southern Transitional Council, seeking self-rule in the south, accused a party allied to the Saudi-backed government of being complicit in a Houthi attack on southern forces.

Saudi Arabia has called for a summit to end the standoff, but the government led by Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said it would not participate until the separatists ceded control of sites they had taken over.

The heavy bombing campaign initiated by Saudi Arabia four years ago and backed by the United States and the European Union transformed the country into a field of ruins where famine and death rage. The country is currently the scene of one of the worst humanitarian disasters ever experienced. 

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