موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

UAE’s Bid to Acquire Aden Port Faces Backlash from Public and Parliament

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The UAE is aggressively pursuing its goal to take control of Yemen’s Aden port, despite broad opposition from the public and parliament, and concerns over Abu Dhabi’s influence in the nation.

A move by Southern Transitional Council leader Aidorus Al-Zubaidi, backed by Abu Dhabi, to push Yemen’s Presidential Council and government into leasing Aden’s international port to Abu Dhabi Ports Authority, reminiscent of Dubai Ports’ expulsion 12 years ago, has ignited fury among Yemeni politicians, activists, and social media users.

In response, 25 members of the Yemeni Shura Council sent a letter to the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, and Prime Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak, in which they expressed their categorical rejection of any harm to the port of Aden.

The council members who endorsed the memorandum expressed vehement opposition and outright refusal to enter into any agreement with the Abu Dhabi Ports Group concerning the Aden Port, under any circumstances. They emphasized that the Aden Port is crucial to our national economy and a cornerstone of our country’s sovereignty.

The memorandum said, “The port of Aden was and still is the focus of the ambitions of countries, large and small, due to its important and strategic location. It is the port that until recently was considered the second or third largest global port.”

I also urged the Presidential Leadership Council and the Council of Ministers to issue a transparent and unequivocal statement halting any actions or agreements that could impact the Aden Port and the nation’s sovereignty. I held them accountable before God and our people for any clandestine or public actions that jeopardize the Aden Port or undermine our country’s sovereignty.

This follows 12 years after the Yemeni Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation terminated the 2008 contract with Dubai Ports Group to manage the Aden Port. The decision stemmed from the port’s economic decline, reduced activities, and the company’s failure to fulfill its infrastructure development commitments.

According to Yemeni media, the port used to accommodate 500,000 containers per year, and its capacity was supposed to increase to one million containers within a specific period, but the number decreased. In 2011, the port could only accommodate 130,000 containers.

Last week, a memorandum emerged from the head of the Transitional Council, Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi, a member of the Yemeni Presidential Council, addressed to Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, revealing a government committee formed to complete an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the Ports of Aden for joint investment.

Last year, the Yemeni government’s endorsement of a draft partnership and investment deal with a UAE telecommunications company stirred controversy within Yemen, particularly following objections from members of the Yemeni parliament.

The endorsement followed a letter dated August 18, 2023, from 22 Yemeni parliamentarians to the government, cautioning against proceeding with the establishment of a collaborative telecommunications company aimed at delivering mobile and internet services in Yemen

They also insisted that no contract or agreement should be finalized with “NX” Communications Company until the parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing the agreement issues its report to the House of Representatives’ Presidency and the government.

The Aden Port deal not only sparked outrage among members of the Yemeni Shura Council but also led numerous southern Yemeni figures to publicly reject it, cautioning that it undermines the nation’s sovereignty and resources. They criticized its approval without proper legal and legitimate procedures.

In a statement, the Southern National Forces unequivocally rejected any agreement with Abu Dhabi regarding the management of Aden Port, labeling it as a blatant act of corruption and an unlawful agreement that should be halted immediately. They also cautioned foreign companies, including those from the UAE, about the risks associated with such agreements.

These forces emphasized that agreements lacking legal legitimacy and national decision-making, and not approved by constitutionally and legally authorized legislative bodies, are deemed invalid. They cautioned against the repercussions of ongoing fragmented decision-making and competition that could undermine the country.

It also declared its rejection of such agreements, labeling them as “dubious and detrimental to the nation economically, politically, and in terms of sovereignty.” The statement called upon all political, social, legal, and popular entities nationwide to unite in taking decisive actions to halt these damaging actions that threaten the country’s future, sovereignty, and the well-being of future generations, as outlined in the report detailing their stance.

These forces warned of the danger of repeating agreements with the same companies that the Republic of Yemen had previously canceled in previous periods through its legitimate constitutional institutions, in reference to the previous agreement with Dubai Ports, which was canceled by Yemen.

Under the hashtag #UAE_tampering_with_the_port_of_Aden, Yemeni activists tweeted, referring to the previous contract under which the Dubai Ports Company leased the port of Aden in 2008, and what it did in disrupting the port until the government succeeded in canceling the contract in 2012.

Activists highlighted the Transitional Council’s role, backed by military and political support from Abu Dhabi, in facilitating the transfer of the port to the Emirates with the intent to dismantle it entirely. They cautioned that this move by the Transitional Council risks plunging Aden and all of Yemen into a costly historical deadlock.

Previously, the Yemeni government accused Dubai Ports of attempting to undermine and destabilize the port of Aden. In November 2008, Dubai Ports acquired control of the Al-Mualla Container Port and the Caltex terminal, despite holding only a 20% stake. It was granted exclusive management rights without competition and the authority to oversee operations at both terminals, including Caltex and Mualla.

Three years later, it became clear that the revenues of the Port of Aden, instead of improving, declined in container handling traffic in the Port of Aden by more than 57% during the period (2009-2011 AD), compared to the period (2006-2008 AD). This prompted the Yemeni Government of National Accord in 2012 to cancel the agreement.

The Anti-Corruption Commission in Yemen said at the time that the Dubai Ports Company did not implement the investment plan for the first phase of the development process of Aden Port on time, and the port is considered one of the five best natural ports in the world.