A Yemeni official has denied on Friday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had ended its military presence in his country, calling on Abu Dhabi to “stop arming militias in the south.”
This came in a tweet by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information in the Yemeni government Muhammad Qizan, in response to the announcement of UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Thursday, regarding his country’s military withdrawal from Yemen.
“The world is a small village, thanks to the media, everyone knows that you [the UAE] are still in Yemen,” Qizan remarked.
He added: “Withdraw your soldiers from Socotra, Balhaf and Mayon, and stop arming the militias.”
Qizan called on the UAE authorities to support the Yemeni government.
On Thursday, Gargash divulged via Twitter that his country had ended its military intervention in Yemen last October, minutes after the Joe Biden administration decided to end support for his country’s participation the Yemeni war.
Yemeni officials usually accuse the UAE of seeking to divide Yemen and control the country’s south, in order to govern its wealth and vital ports and arm forces parallel to the legitimate government.
Abu Dhabi has repeatedly denied these accusations, stressing that its military presence in Yemen is designated to support the government’s legitimacy against the Iran-backed Houthis.
The UAE is a prominent partner in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, which entered Yemen in March 2015 to support the pro-government forces against the Houthi group.
For the seventh consecutive year, Yemen is witnessing a war that has claimed the lives of more than 233,000 people according to the United Nations. The conflict has left 80 per cent of the population, around 30 million people, depending on aid to survive in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.