Clashes erupt in Yemen’s Aden, killing one

Yemen’s southern separatists pray during a funeral of Brig. Gen. Muneer Al-Yafee and his comrades killed in a Houthi missile attack, in Aden, Yemen, August 7, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 07 August 2019

Clashes erupt in Yemen’s Aden, killing one

  • The UAE called for calm and urged for communication and dialogue
  • UN envoy to Yemen says he is alarmed by the military escalations in Aden

JEDDAH: Southern separatists clashed Wednesday with presidential guards in Aden, the seat of Yemen’s government, with one person killed and at least two badly injured, local officials and residents told Reuters.
The separatists and the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are united in their battle against the Iranian-backed Houthi militia but tensions have previously spilled over between the groups.
The clashes Wednesday took place after hundreds of separatist supporters attended a funeral for some southern troops and a prominent commander.
The funeral took place near the hilltop presidential palace and shooting was exchanged between presidential guards and the crowd.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash called for calm, saying communication and dialogue, not violence, was needed.
The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, is a member of the Arab military coalition supporting the internationally recognized government.
The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said he was “alarmed by the military escalations in Aden, including reports of clashes in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace.”

“I am also deeply concerned by the recent rhetoric encouraging violence against Yemeni institutions,” he said.

(With Reuters and AFP)


Iraqi protesters block commercial ports, split capital

Updated 19 November 2019

Iraqi protesters block commercial ports, split capital

  • Iraqi civilians are increasingly relying on boats to ferry them across the Tigris River as ongoing standoffs shut key bridges in Baghdad
  • The Jumhuriya, Sinak and Ahrar bridges connect both sides of the city by passing over the river

BAGHDAD: Anti-government protesters blocked access to a second major commercial port in southern Iraq on Tuesday, as bridge closures effectively split the capital in half, causing citizens to rely on boats for transport to reach the other side of the city.
Since anti-government protests began Oct. 1, at least 320 people have been killed and thousands wounded in Baghdad and the mostly Shiite southern provinces. Demonstrators have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands over what they say is widespread corruption, lack of job opportunities and poor basic services, despite the country’s oil wealth.
Security forces have used live ammunition, tear gas and stun guns to repel protesters, tactics that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday would be punished with sanctions.
“We will not stand idle while the corrupt officials make the Iraqi people suffer. Today, I am affirming the United States will use our legal authorities to sanction corrupt individuals that are stealing Iraqis’ wealth and those killing and wounding peaceful protesters,” he said in remarks to reporters in Washington.
“Like the Iraqi people taking to the streets today, our sanctions will not discriminate between religious sect or ethnicity,” he added. “They will simply target those who do wrong to the Iraqi people, no matter who they are.”
Over a dozen protesters blocked the main entrance to Khor Al-Zubair port, halting trade activity as oil tankers and other trucks carrying goods were unable to enter or exit. The port imports commercial goods and materials as well as refined oil products.
Crude from Qayara oil field in Ninewa province, in northern Iraq, is also exported from the port.
Khor Al-Zubair is the second largest port in the country. Protesters had burned tires and cut access to the main Gulf commercial port in Umm Qasr on Monday and continued to block roads Tuesday.
Iraqi civilians are increasingly relying on boats to ferry them across the Tigris River as ongoing standoffs between demonstrators and Iraqi security forces on three key bridges has shut main thoroughfares connecting east and west Baghdad.
The Jumhuriya, Sinak and Ahrar bridges, which have been partially occupied by protesters following days of deadly clashes, connect both sides of the city by passing over the Tigris River. The blockages have left Iraqis who must make the daily commute for work, school and other day-to-day activities with no choice but to rely on river boats.
“After the bridges were cut, all the pressure is on us here,” said Hasan Lilo, a boat owner in the capital. “We offer a reasonable transportation means that helps the people.”