The conflict in Yemen has escalated, with an estimated 40 people killed and hundreds wounded, as southern separatists, trained by the UAE, seized key ports in the city of Aden, triggering “devastating” humanitarian consequences.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that large parts of the city were also left without electricity and water during the fighting after services were targeted. They warn that escalated conflict would have a devastating impact.
The human right think-tank, Crisis Group, has reported that this development will complicate the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe and threatens to bring about “a “new civil war within a civil war”.
According to the UN, 22.2 million people need some kind of assistance, including about 8.4 million people who are at risk of starvation.
Responding to this development, UAE’s crown prince, Abu Dhabi, met Salman bin Abdelaziz, King of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, in Mecca on Monday. They have aligned themselves in the war against the Houthis and the Shi’ite Iranian forces.
UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan told reporters after the meeting that “the UAE and Saudi Arabia call on conflicting Yemeni parties to prioritize dialogue and reason for the interest of Yemen”.
Saleh Alnoud, a British-based spokesman for the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has stated that:
“Giving up control of Aden is not on the table at the moment,”
“We are there to remain - but to remain for a positive reason: to maintain stability,”
The STC is a political organisation established in 2018 which has been advocating for the independence of Southern Yemen.
The leader of the STC, Aidaroos al-Zubaidi, has agreed to a proposed emergency summit in Saudi Arabia to discuss the Aden crisis.