JEDDAH: The Arab coalition officially handed over responsibility for protecting the Hadramout region’s coastline to the Yemeni coast guard on Thursday.
Boats equipped with weapons, communication devices and radar were given to the coast guard to help carry out its role.
Coast guard duties include managing regional ports, maintaining security on the Arabian Sea coastline, and preventing the smuggling of arms, drugs or people into the region.
The ceremony was attended by Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Salem Ahmed Al-Khanbashi; Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Saeed Al-Jaber; US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew Toler; Gov. of Hadramout Maj. Gen. Faraj Al-Bahsani; and Maj. Gen. Abdullah Abu Hatim, commander of the Yemeni border guards.
Al-Jaber said in a press conference following the ceremony that Yemen’s coast guard would protect Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula and the region against smuggling and terrorism. Terrorism had been eliminated in Yemen, he said.
The envoy said that the Arab coalition had trained 1,000 Yemeni military officers and provided them with equipment, including radar and vehicles. Training had included military exercises and tactics.
Maj. Gen. Saleh Al-Ghamdi, representing the naval forces of the coalition’s Joint Forces Command, said that the coalition had trained new Yemeni coast guard personnel in Hadramout. More personnel would be trained, he said.
“Trainees have also received courses in inspecting, auditing and combating maritime piracy in cooperation with the US side as the Yemeni coast guard is a member of the Combined Maritime Forces 150, based in Bahrain,” Al-Ghamdi said.
He said that 37 boats equipped with weapons, communication equipment and updated radar had been given to Yemen’s coast guard in order to guard Hadramout’s coast. The 350 km coastline houses seven main ports and dozens of small harbors.
Commander of Yemeni Coast Guard Forces Maj. Gen. Khalid Al-Qamali said that the protection and management of the coast of Hadramout would be handled in cooperation with the leadership of the local authority and with the support of the Joint Forces Command of the coalition.
The coast guard sector in the Arabian Sea includes four governorates — Hadramout, Al-Mahrah, Shabwah and Socotra — with the headquarters of the main center located in the city of Mukalla.
Al-Qamali said that it had been agreed with the Saudi-led coalition to establish the sector in stages, with the first stage launched last August in Al-Mahrah followed by Hadramout.
Trainees demonstrated their new skills during the ceremony through security scenarios in which they stopped “hostile” boats.
The Arab coalition said later on Thursday that a missile launch platform in Saadah had been destroyed before a ballistic missile could be fired toward Saudi Arabia.