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Yemeni PM, cabinet to Aden as war rages
September 23, 2016, 10:56 am

Saudi air raids have hit Houthi positions but also destroyed civilian infrastructure such as hospitals in Sanaa [Xinhua]

Saudi air raids have hit Houthi positions but also destroyed civilian infrastructure such as hospitals in Sanaa [Xinhua]

Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghr and seven ministers from his cabinet arrived in the country’s temporary capital of Aden on Thursday, asserting that their return was “final”.

Their arrival comes amid a pan-Arab effort to strengthen the government’s hold on provinces in the south of the country.

Government forces recaptured the city of Aden in August 2015; some government officials soon returned there to administer rebuilding the war-battered country.

Earlier, President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi fired the board of the Yemeni central bank and ordered the institution moved to Aden.

The capital of Yemen has been relocated to Aden as Houthi rebels continue to hold Sanaa as their main base of operations.

Pan-Arab efforts to dislodge them have so far failed.

In January 2015, the Houthis – who are Shia – seized the presidential palace in the capital Sanaa and forced then leader Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to resign. They have since sought to consolidate their hold on the country.

Hadi, who was placed under house arrest, eventually escaped and fled to Aden, the former capital of South Yemen.

He then declared Aden the new temporary capital of the entire country, but the Houthis pursued him there and captured that city as well.

The fall of Aden prompted the Saudis and some of their allies to mount military operations against the Houthis, who they accuse of acting as Iranian proxies.

The fight between the Houthis and the government, which was formed in November 2014, has created a security and political vacuum that has been used by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the more militant Islamic State (ISIL), to grow their strength and influence.

Humanitarian disaster?

Meanwhile, at least 30 people were killed in the province of Hodeidah, which borders Sanaa, after a fresh round of Saudi-led air raid on Wednesday night.

Hodeidah has been hard-hit by the war, with its villages bearing the devastating brunt of the 19-month conflict – a testament to how much Yemenis have suffered during this period.

As the airstrikes continue, people face shortages of basic foods and medical supplies pointing towards what many fear could become a famine, perhaps the Middle East’s worst humanitarian disaster.

UN statistics show that almost 370,000 children in Yemen suffer from malnutrition due to starvation. At least 7,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The BBC reports that since the war began around 19 months ago, 600 hospitals have shut down throughout the country.

Read more: Kerry pushes for Yemen unity government

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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